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of Taddeo Gaddi's picture in the Church of S. Croce at 
Florence, c The Meeting of S. Joseph and S, Anna* 





;fL*J§ D13. ^Uf^fc 




The Canonical Gospels. As far back as we can trace them 
the four Gospels known as Canonical hold a place of honour 
and authority peculiar to themselves. Irenseus of Gaul (circa 
a.d. 175) recognises four, and only four, Gospels as the 
c pillars' that uphold the Church {Adv. Haer. iii. 8). Origen, in 
the beginning of the next century (a.d. 220), speaks of them as 
' the four Gospels which alone are uncontroverted in the Church 
of God spread under heaven' (Euseb., H. E. vi. 25). Justin 
Martyr, in the middle of the second century, narrates that the 
• Memoirs of the Apostles,' which are called Gospels, were read 
every Sunday in the assemblies of the Christians (ApoL 66, 67). 
That these Gospels were those we now possess we can tell, not 
only from Justin's description of them, and allusions to their 
contents (cp. Sanday's Gospels in Second Century \ chap. iv. ), 
but from the harmony made of them by his disciple Tatian in 
his Diatessaron (now recovered in Arabic translations). Our 
four Gospels, and these only, stand at the head of the ancient 
Syriac (Peshitta), the Latin and the Egyptian versions (cp. 
Westcott and Hort), and of the old list known as the Canon of 
Muratori (circa A.D. 180). Within the Church, in short, our 
four Gospels, attributed by second - century writers to their 
present authors, had never any rivals. 

Apocryphal Writings. It stands very differently, as respects 

«*S New Testament 

Introduction. _ 

origin, character and reception, with the Gospels, Acts and 
Apocalpyses known as ' Apocryphal.' These began to be pro- 
duced (so far as known) in the second century, mostly in 
Ebionitic and Gnostic circles, and, with few exceptions, were 
repudiated and condemned by the Church. Only later, and in 
modified and expurgated forms, did their stories pass into the 
general Catholic tradition. The second century seems to have 
been a perfect hot-bed for the production of this class of 
writings. The heretical Gospel of the Egyptians is already 
quoted in 2 Clement (circa A.D. 140). Irenes speaks of the 
sect of the Marcosians as adducing 'an unspeakable number of 
apocryphal and spurious writings, which they themselves had 
forgelto bewilder the minds of the foolish,' and instances he 
story, found in the Gospel of Thomas, of Jesus confounding the 
schoolmaster who sought to teach Him His letters {Adv. ffaer 
i 20 ). Later tradition attributed the composition of many of 
the apocryphal writings {Pseudo- Matthew, Acts of Apostles to 
a mythical Leucius, a disciple of the Apostles (cp art. < Leucius, 
l)7t of Christ. Biog.). Eusebius gives a list of spurious 
and disputed books : ' That we may have at in our power to 
know both these books (the canonical), and those that are 
adduced by the heretics under the name of the .Apostles such 
viz., as compose the Gospels of Peter, of Thomas, and of 
Matthew, and certain others beside these, or such as contain 
Ae Ac" of Andrew and John, and of the other Apostles of 
which no one of those writers in the ecclesiastical succession has 
condescended to make any mention in his works ; and, indeed 
the character of the style itself is very different from that of the 
Apostles, and the sentiments, and the purport of those things 
that are advanced in them, deviating as far as possible from 

Apocryphal Writings 5t» Introduction. 

sound orthodoxy, evidently proves they are the fictions of 
heretical men ; whence they are not only to be ranked among 
the spurious writings, but are to be rejected as altogether absurd 
and impious ' (H. E. iii. 25). Only a small part of this exten- 
sive literature remains to us, and in no case in its original form, 
but solely in later, and often much-altered recensions. 

Authorities. The apocryphal literature is a study by itself, 
with the intricate details of which only specialists are competent 
to deal. Great attention has been bestowed on the collecting, 
editing and collating of such codices of Gospels, Acts, and other 
writings as were formerly known, or have more recently been 
discovered. The most important of the older collections was 
that of Fabricius (Codex Apocryphus, 17 19). The collections 
and prolegomena of Thilo (1832) and Tischendorf (Acts, 1851 ; 
Gospels, 1853; Apocalypses, 1856) are of special value; much, 
however, has been done since their time. The articles by 
Lipsius in the Diet, of Christ. Biog. on * Acts of the Apostles 
(Apocryphal) ' and \ Gospels (Apocryphal) ' are, like the author's 
learned German work (2 vols., 1883) on the former subject, 
masterly in their discussions of the relations of the documents. 
Valuable light was thrown on the Syriac versions of the Prote- 
vangelium of James, the Gospel of Thomas, and the Transitus 
Maries (Passing of Mary), by the texts and fragments edited and 
translated by Dr. W. Wright in the Journal of Sacred Literature 
(January and April 1865), and his Contributions to the Apocry- 
phal Literature of the New Testament (1865), and Apocryphal 
Acts of the Apostles (1871). In 1902 Mrs. Agnes Smith Lewis 
edited, with translations and other illustrative matter, new Syriac 
texts of the Protevangelium and Transitus Maria, obtained from 

Introduction. +§ New Testament 

a palimpsest she was fortunate enough to purchase at Suez in 
Tuly 1895 (Studia Sinaitica, No. XI. 1902). An interesting 
fragment of the lost Gospel of Peter (second century) was dis- 
covered, with other MSS., at Akhmim, in Upper Egypt, in 
x886, and was published in 1892 (see below). A translation of 
the Apocryphal Gospels was published in 1874 by Mr B^H 
Cowper, on the basis of Tischendorfs edition ; *??<*• ™- 
of Messrs T. & T. Clark's Ante-Nicene Library is devoted to 
translations by Mr. A. Walker of 'Apocryphal Gospels, Acts 
and R velations.' An < Additional Volume' of the Library 
( l897 ) contains translations of works more f^STL 
Lectures XI. and XIX. of Dr. Salmon's Introduction to the 
^Testament, on 'Apocryphal and Heretical Gospels' and 
'Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles,' may profitably be con- 
sulted Hone's catch-penny Apocryphal New Testament (18*,) 
is critically worthless. 

Character of Apocryphal Gospels. Of the purely heretical 
Gospels most have perished (for an account of "some of titt : Gnostic 
ones see Baring-Gould's Lost and Hostile Gospels (1874), and 
UpsCas above). But apart from doctrinal reasons, sufficient 
Motive always ex sted in persons of lax tendency to pander to 
The prnciple" of curiosity and love of the marvellous m human 
nature by inventions of narratives on subjects on wh ch the 
genuine Gospels were silent. An existing narrative or tradi- 
tions of sayings and doings of Jesus, might be and frequently 
were, manipulated, recast, or embellished ; but the grand ^oppo, 
tunity came when the Gospels said nothing at all. Here was a 
space which imagination could fill up at pleasure. The stories 
might be puerile, demoralising, ridiculous to the last degree, but 

Apocryphal Writings 5^ Introduction. 

if they were only circumstantial and marvellous enough, and 
were backed up by names of Apostles, or others of repute, the 
narrator could always rely on finding readers greedy to receive 
them. This is precisely what happened with the Apocryphal 
Gospels. There are differences in degree of puerility and extra- 
vagance ; but Bishop Ellicott did not exaggerate when he said 
of the spurious Gospels as a whole (and the same remarks apply 
as a rule to the Acts) : « Their real demerits, their mendacities, 
their absurdities, their coarseness, the barbarities of their style 
and the inconsequence of their narratives, have never been 
excused or condoned. It would be hard to find any competent 
writer, in any age of the Church, who has been beguiled into 
saying anything civil or commendatory ' (< On the Apocryphal 
Gospels, 3 Cambridge Essays, 1856, p. 153). It is to be re- 
membered, on the other hand, that the stories in these Gospels 
did ultimately very deeply influence Catholic tradition (see 

Cycles of Narration. The stories in the Apocryphal 
Gospels will be found on examination to resolve themselves 
mainly into three groups, or to form three chief cycles, 
corresponding to those parts of the evangelical narrative 
where curiosity is most excited, and receives least satisfaction. 
These cycles relate (1) to the previous history of the parents 
of Jesus, especially of Mary, and to the Nativity ; (2) to the 
boyhood of Jesus from His childhood to His twelfth year ; 
and (3) to the passion of Jesus, and the interval between His 
death and Resurrection. These groups are represented in the 
present volume respectively by the Protevangelium of James, 
the Gospel of Thomas (with part of the Gospel of Pseudo- 

«*§ New Testament 
Introduction. . 

Matthew), and the Gospel of Nicodemus, with the fragment of 
the Gospel of Peter. The Falling Asleep of Mary « added as 
exemplifying the later development of the Marylegend as 
welUs for Us connection with the group of writings winch bear 
the title Transitus Maria. 

A few words may be said on the cycles generally before 
passing to the special introductions. 

i Cvcle on the Parents of Jesus and on the Nativity. 
Joseph and Mary are somewhat abruptly introduced in the 
genuine Gospels/while a long preliminary history is given in 
Luke of Zacharias and Elizabeth, the parents of John he 
Cist. This was plainly something to be remedied, and the 
oldest ycle of stories, apparently without a scintilla o ^ rea 
tradition behind them, relate to the parentage and birth of he 
Sgin Mary, the wonderful circumstances of her early life 
her betrothal to Joseph, the Annunciation, and the events of 
Z Nativity. The stories grow in detail and in wonderful 
character as they advance from the Protevangehum of James 
the old st) through the Gospel of Pseude-Matthe* -to a third 
ptece, not Included 2 in this volume, TheNat^f MyM- 
ihe relation of these writings, see below). But the mam 
outlines of the narrative are early fixed. They include such 
features as the following :-How Mary's parents, Joachim and 
Anna were rich, but childless 5 Joachim's distress at being 
fennel from the Temple because he had no seed ; bis flight 
and fasting and the grief of Anna ; the angelic promise to the 
godly PU'; the birfh of Mary, and her dedication to God^ 
fhe marvelous incidents of her infancy ; how she lived I with 
other virgins at the Temple from her third to her twelfth (or 

Apocryphal Writings Sm> introduction. 

fourteenth) year, behaving astonishingly, and being fed by 
angels ; how an aged guardian of her virginity was sought for, 
and by a Divine sign was found in Joseph, to whom, accord- 
ingly, she was betrothed ; the Annunciation- to Mary ; Joseph's 
concern at her condition ; the trial of Joseph and Mary by 
the water of jealousy at the Temple ; the journey to Bethle- 
hem, and birth of Jesus in a cave outside the city; the 
marvels attending the Nativity, etc. In the later versions of 
the legend the growing exaltation of Mary is very apparent. 
New stories arise also of the death of Joseph, and of the 
passing of the soul of Mary, and assumption of her body 
( Transit™ Maria). Of the latter type of story one specimen is 
given {see below). 

2. The Boyhood of Jesus. The entire silence of the 
Gospel history on the early life of Jesus naturally afforded scope 
for invention, and the legend-mongers of the second and later 
centuries did not miss their opportunity. The blank in the 
narrative of the childhood and youth of Jesus was early filled up 
with an abundance of prodigies of the crudest and most puerile 
kind. The parent of this class of Gospel, or rather the earliest 
form of it, was the so-called Gospel of Thomas, which had its 
successors in the Gospel of Pseudo- Matthew, and, still later, in 
the wildly - extravagant Arabic Gospel of the Infancy. The 
absurdity of the sayings and doings attributed to the boy Jesus 
in this cycle of stories is only equalled by their grotesque incon- 
gruity with His real character. The single effect of placing 
them alongside the narratives of the genuine Gospels must be, 
as Dr. Westcott has said, to impress the reader with the sense of 
' complete contrast.' Time, place, propriety, even ordinary 

*S New Testament 
Introduction. y j; Z 

consistency, are recklessly disregarded. Jesus has and exercises 
from His Sadie all Divine powers-is omniscient, omnipotent, 
etc -yet Plays with the children in the street, and amuses Him- 
£ by makmg pools of water and moulding day sparrows 
When challenged for breaking the Sabbath He claps His 
hands and His sparrows fly away. He is the terror of the 
pUces in which He reside, If boy or man oflendj = or 
contradicts Him, He smites the offender dead, or otherwise 
ZLes Himself. He confounds His teachers, and ins ructs 
SL S Mysteries of the Hebrew letters When His pitcher 
breaks, He carries home the water in His lap. He aids Joseph 
[nht carpentry by lengthening or shortening the pieces of wood 
It^easml The ^Ipel of Pseu^-Matt^ ^^ 
series of miracles wrought by Jesus as a child in Egypt (chaps. 
xTto xxv. These chapters only are included in this volume*. 
Th! 1^ Gospel oftke Infancy^ the rem £ fcn^m 
stories of marvels and transformations, which, in fceu ^an* 
extravagance, remind of nothing so much as of the AraUan 

, Cycle of Pilate and Nicodemus. The evangelists give 
fulf nSwes of the events of the betrayal, trial, Crucifixion, 
fnd Resurrection of Jesus. The excuse of silence therefore, 
cannot be pleaded here. The apocryphal narrators how eve , 
saw room for embellishment, expansion, and sometimes mod, 
fiction (see on Gospel of Peter below). Later, appa ently 
within the Catholic Church itself they produced a sen s of 
fictitious writings, bearing on the parts taken by dilate, 
Sldemul Joseph of Arimathea and others, in these scenes o 
the Saviour's suffering and triumph. First came a number 

Apocryphal Writings §*> Introduction. 

alleged letters and reports from Pilate, doubtful in date and origin, 
but none in their present form early. Then appeared in varying 
recensions the so-called Acts of Pilate or Gospel of Nicodemus, 
which certainly is not older than the fourth, and is possibly as 
late as the fifth, century. The sobriety of the Gospel histories 
did not satisfy the taste of these enterprising compilers. Jesus 
was not made to appear sufficiently Divine in his trial before the 
Roman procurators ; Pilate's sympathy with Jesus was not suffi- 
ciently accentuated ; the testimony to Christ's innocence was not 
thrown into bold enough relief. All this was now amended. 
The altercation between Pilate and Christ's accusers assumes a 
lengthened and highly dramatic form ; Pilate avows himself un- 
equivocally on Christ's side (see also the Gospel of Peter) ; the 
Saviour has miraculous attestation of His dignity, e.g., in the 
Roman standards bowing down to Him as He passes with honour 
into the judgment hall ; the persons whose healings are narrated 
in the Gospels— the impotent man of John v., the woman with 
the issue of blood, Bartimseus, those from whom demons had 
been expelled, step forward and bear witness to His power. 
The same kind of elaboration appears in the parts taken in 
the history by Nicodemus and Joseph ; the whole culminating 
in the testimony before the Sanhedrim by eye-witnesses to the 
Ascension of Jesus, on receiving which Annas, Caiaphas and 
the Rabbis believe ! A second part of the Gospel (later in origin, 
and not included in this selection) recounts from the lips of the 
two sons of Symeon, raised from the dead, the triumphs of Jesus 
in Hades, during the interval between His death and Resurrection. 

Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles. The same motives 
which led to the composition of Apocryphal Gospels naturally 

introduction. +1 New Testament 

led to the production of a multitude of spurious Acts of 
Apostles These profess to narrate the journeyings, doings and 
teachings of the Apostles of Christ (Peter, Thomas, Andrew, 
Thaddseus, Matthew, etc.) after their dispersion from Jeru- 
salem The groundwork of several of the Acts belongs to 
the second century, though, in their present form most are 
Catholic recastings of much later date. The Acts of Peter and 
Paul, which relate the conflicts of these Apostles with Simon 
Magus are of this character (in their present form probably 
from fourth or fifth century). The Acts of Thomas still bear 
on them the clear imprint of the Gnosticism in which they 
originated (second or third century). Old 'Journeymgs of 
Peter' are wrought up in the Ebionitic Clementine writings 
(second century). The oldest and freshest extant specimen of 
this class of literature is the Acts of Paul and Thecla,on which 
see below. The apocryphal 'Apocalypses, of which there 
were a great many (of Paul, Peter, John, etc.), must here be 
left unnoticed. A fragment of the Apocalypse of Peter was 
discovered with the Gospel of Peter at Akhm.m in 1886, and 
was published in 1902. . t 

Something may now be said by way of more special intro- 
duction to the writings included in this volume. 

1 The Protevangelium of James. This oldest of the 
extant Apocryphal Gospels claims to have been written by 
James (the Just) in Jerusalem. It was first published in the 
Latin version of Postellus in 1552- It exists in numerous Greek 
MSS., the best of which is said to be one of the tenth century. 
The Syriac versions are older, and, with occasional abbrevi- 
ations, agree fairly with the Greek text, and with one another. 

Apocryphal Writings 5o» introduction. 

The fragment translated by Dr. Wright is supposed to belong to 
the sixth century ; the text on the palimpsest of Mrs. Lewis is 
referred to the fifth or sixth century. The Gospel in its 
present form can hardly (notwithstanding Tischendorf) be put 
earlier than the third century ; but the older form lying behind 
it certainly goes back to the second century. Coincidences are 
noted between the Gospel and Justin Martyr (a.d. 150) which, 
in the opinion of good scholars, point to its use by that 
apologist (cp. Sanday on The Gospels in the Second Century). 
Origen refers to the Book of James in proof that Joseph had 
sons by a former wife (in Matt. torn. x. 17) ; and the connection 
with the Protevangelium is not disproved by the fact that 
elsewhere he gives a different account of the death of Zacharias 
(in Matt. Tract. 25). The contents of the Gospel show it to have 
been partly based on the narratives of the Nativity in Matthew 
and Luke. That in its present form it is composite seems 
evident from chap, xviii., which is put in the first person into 
the mouth of Joseph, and is extravagant in its style of descrip- 
tion. On the ground of this chapter one is tempted to suspect 
an origin in Essenian-Ebionitic circles. Either in its present 
or in an earlier shape it formed the basis of the writing after- 
wards to be mentioned— the Gospel of Pseudo- Matthew, and 
through it of the later Nativity of Mary. A prominent motive 
of the composer is obviously to exalt the virginity of Mary. 
On the errors in which the work abounds see the Notes. 

The Gospel of Thomas. This Gospel, as formerly 
mentioned, gives the account of the sayings and doings, but 
specially of the miracles, of Jesus in His boyhood up to His 
twelfth year. The reference to one of the stories in Irenseus 


Introduction. +$ New Testament 

(above, p. vi.), shows that the work originated in Gnostic circles, 
and was in use in substance in the second half of the second 
century. It is cited by Origen (Horn. i. in Luc), and after 
him frequently by Fathers of the Church. We do not, how- 
ever, possess the Gospel in its original form, but only in much 
later Catholic recasts — two of them Greek, one Latin, and 
one Syriac, Of the first and longer Greek version (that 
adopted in this volume) several MSS. exist ; the second Greek 
version is much abbreviated ; the Latin, on the other hand, is 
considerably enlarged. The two latter versions were discovered 
by Tischendorf, as also a third closely-related version, which, 
as seen below, he took to be a continuation of Pseudo- Matt hew. 
The Syriac version of Dr. Wright is again short, and omits 
extensive portions. The character of the stories which make 
up the Gospel has already been described. The spirit which 
pervades them is well expressed in the remonstrance to Joseph 
of the parents whose child Jesus had killed : ' Since thou hast 
such a child, it is impossible for thee to live with us in the 
village ; or else teach Him to bless and not to curse ; for He is 
killing our children ' (chap, iv.) ; and in the saying in chap, viii., 
* And no one after that dared to make Him angry, lest He 
should curse him, and he should be maimed. , Only three or 
four miracles of mercy occur (chaps, vii., viii., xiv., xv.). 
In addition to the stories of miracles in the other versions, 
the Latin version has one of Jesus making a dried fish to breathe 
and swim. 

3. The Gospel of Pseudo - Matthew. The secondary 
character and late date of this Gospel are apparent at a glance. 
It exists only in Latin, and professes to be a translation by 

Apocryphal Writings So* Introduction. 

St. Jerome from the Hebrew of St. Matthew. It is therefore, 
by confession, not earlier than the fifth century. Prefixed to it 
are forged letters from two bishops to Jerome, and from Jerome 
to the bishops. In one of the latter the writer cannot help 
discovering that what he is really working with is an old Gnostic 
book of the imaginary Leucius. As printed by Thilo, the 
Gospel consists of twenty-four chapters (in Tischendorf s reckon- 
ing twenty-five), of which the first seventeen are based on the 
Proievangelium, and the remaining seven, derived from some 
unknown and probably Gnostic source, narrate the wonders 
attending the Saviour's sojourn in Egypt. Tischendorf, on the 
other hand, extends the Gospel to forty- two chapters by the 
addition of seventeen chapters discovered by him in a Vatican MS. 
These chapters (xxvi.-xlii.) are akin in character to the Gospel 
of Thomas, but other scholars (as Lipsius) challenge Tischen- 
dorf's right to regard them as any part of Pseudo- Matthew. 
In the story of the Nativity, this Gospel introduces a few new 
features— specially that of the ox and the ass adoring the child 
in the manger (chap. xiv.). The only really original part of 
it is the account it gives of the miracles in Egypt. This portion 
alone, therefore, it has been thought necessary to reproduce. 
The Nativity of Mary, to which reference has already been 
made, is based mainly on this Gospel. It gives in independent 
form the substance of the narrative as far as the birth of Jesus in 
Bethlehem. The Nativity was an exceedingly popular book in 
the Middle Ages, It was for long attributed to Jerome. Its 
contents were transferred almost entirely into the Legenda 
Aurea (thirteenth century), and poetry and sacred art are much 
indebted to it (see below). 

B xvii 

Introduction. ** New Testament 

4. The Gospel of Nicodemus. The general nature and 
contents of this Gospel have been described in an earlier section. 
Its older title was The Acts of Pilate; the name Gospel of 
Nicodemus does not appear before the thirteenth century. It 
exists in a longer and a shorter Greek form (each sixteen 
chapters; the longer form is that here adopted); in a Latin 
version which, after the commencement, agrees closely with the 
longer Greek till near the end ; in a Coptic and in an Armenian 
version (#. on last, F. C. Conybeare, Studia Biblica, 1896). 
A continuation of the Gospel in eleven (Latin thirteen) chapters 
narrates the descent of Jesus into Hades, and His doings there. 
It is a question among scholars whether this continuation was 
part of the original Gospel or was an independent composition. 
It like the first part, exists in three forms— a shorter, appended 
to the second (shorter) Greek, and a longer and a shorter Latin, 
It is wanting to the longer Greek Gospel. It seems probable 
that this second portion was really an appendix, but it may have 
formed part of the shorter Greek, and also of the Latin versions. 
The shorter Latin form shows wide divergencies from the others. 
The Gospel professes to be a translation from the Hebrew, but 
the Greek text is undoubtedly the original. The prologue (in 
the longer Greek and Latin) gives dates in the reigns oi 
Theodosius and Valentinian for the alleged translation (circa 
A D 425), which would seem to fix the appearance of the Gospel 
at earliest in the fifth century. On the strength of references tc 
'Acts of Pilate' in Justin Martyr and Tertullian, Tischendor: 
would carry back the original to the second century ; and t 
is probable that the < Acts' alluded to furnished some basis foi 
the existing romance. The versions vary in regard to the name, 
eiven to author and translator. The longer Greek and Latn 

*» win 


Apocryphal Writings $&> Introduction. 

have really two introductions, the first of which names 
Ananias (Greek) or /Eneas (Latin) as the translator of Hebrew 
writings of the Jews, and the second gives Nicodemus as the 
author. The shorter Greek, on the other hand, makes ,Eneas 
the author, and Nicodemus the translator (the name Ananias 
probably was changed to .Eneas through association with 
Virgil's descent of .Eneas into the under- world in the JEneid) 
The writer knows Hebrew ( c p. chaps, i. and xl.) ; therefore was 
probably a Jew. He shows himself, however, in many points 
ignorant of the topography of Palestine ; thinks, e.g., that Jesus 
was crucified in the garden in which He was seized (.chap. ix. ), and 
places Mount Mamilch or Malek (south of Jerusalem) in Galilee 
and confounds it with the Mount of Ascension (chaps, xv. and 
xvi.). The Gospel abounds in proper names, e.g., the names of 
members of the Sanhedrim (chap, i.) ; Alexander (chap, i.) ; the 
twelve defenders of Jesus (chap, ii.) ; Procla as name of Pilate's 
wife, and Bernice or Veronica as name of the woman whose issue 
af blood was healed (chaps, ii. and vii. in shorter Greek, and 
some MSS.); Dysmas and Gestas, the two malefactors (chap 
x.) ; Longinus, the centurion at the Crucifixion (chap. xvi.). 

The Gospel of Peter. Early Church writers repeatedly 
■efer to this work. The earliest notice is by Serapion, Bishop 
)f Antioch (circa A.D. 191), who found 'the Gospel put forward 
mder Peter's name* in use in the Church of Rhossus, and for 
1 time permitted it to be read, but afterwards, on examination, 
ondemned it for its docetic teaching (Euseb., B. E. vi 12) 
)rigen (in Matt. torn. x. 17) adduces The Gospel according to 
frfcr along with The Book of James (above, p. xv.) 5 in evidence 
hat Jesus had brothers, sons of Joseph by a former wife 

Introduction. +8 New Testament 

Eusebius says of it : * But as to the Book of the Acts ascribed 
to him (Peter), and the Gospel which bears his name, and the 
Preaching and the Apocalypse called his, we know nothing of 
their being handed down as Catholic writings ; since neither 
among the ancient nor the ecclesiastical writers of our own days 
has there been anyone that has appealed to testimony taken 
from them' (he overlooks Origen) ; and later, he includes the 
Gospel of Peter among forged heretical Gospels (&. E. iii. 3 
and 25). The work, however, seemed hopelessly lost, and as 
late as 1886 Dr. Salmon wrote in his Introduction: ' Of this 
book no extracts have been preserved, and apparently it never 
had a very wide range of circulation' (2nd edit., p. 196). In 
that same year, curiously, excavators among the Christian tombs 
at Akhmim, in Upper Egypt, brought to light, with other 
Greek MSS., a parchment containing portions of no less than 
three lost Christian works, viz., the Book of Enoch, the Gospel 
of Peter, and the Apocalypse of Peter. These were published in 
1892. Since then the text of the fragment of Peter has been 
reproduced in facsimile and carefully edited (Swete, 1893), and 
several translations have been made (Dr. J. Rendel Harris, The 
Gospel of St. Peter, 1893 ; Dr. J. Armitage Robinson, The 
Gospel and Apocalypse of Peter, 1892, and in Ante-Nicene 
Library, 1 897 ; Rev. John Macpherson, in Schubert's The 
Gospel of St. Peter, 1893, see below, p. xxvii.). The portion 
recovered— which Dr. Rendel Harris, however, estimates from 
early catalogues of Church books to be about half the Gospel 
(p. 33)— is confined to the narrative of the Passover and Resur- 
rection. It begins in the middle of Christ's trial, after Pilate 
has washed his hands, and breaks off in the middle of a sentence, 
with Peter and Andrew returning to their fishermen's toils, when 

Apocryphal Writings fe» Introduction. 

the feast of unleavened bread had ended. The author knows 
and uses the Canonical Gospels, including John, but his narrative 
is largely independent, and departs freely from the received 
tradition. Herod, e.g. , is the leading judge at the trial, and when 
Joseph begs for the body of Jesus, Pilate sends for permission 
to Herod. The story of the Resurrection, in particular, takes 
quite a different shape from what it has in the genuine Gospels. 
The soldiers see three men coming from the tomb, two of them 
supporting one, and a cross following them. < And the heads 
of the two reached indeed unto heaven, but the head of the one 
who was led by them reached far above the heavens. And they 
heard a voice from heaven that said : Hast thou preached unto 
those that sleep ? And an answer was heard from the cross : 
Yea. 5 The Gnostic stamp of the Gospel is already apparent in 
such descriptions. But more direct evidence of its origin in 
docetic circles— i.e., among those who held that Christ had but 
the semblance of a body— is found in the statement that on the 
cross Jesus was silent as one who felt no pain, and in His dying 
cry, « My Power, my Power, thou hast forsaken me' {see Notes). 
This Gospel gives the name Petronius to the centurion in 
command of the watch at the sepulchre. 

6. Acts of Paul and Thecla. There seems little doubt, 
though some learned scholars take an opposite view, that the 
book which goes under this name is the same of which Ter- 
tullian tells us that it was the work of a presbyter of Asia, who, 
on being convicted of having falsely used Paul's name, and con- 
fessing that he had done it from love to Paul, was deposed 
from his office (De Bapt. 17). If that is so, it is the oldest 
of all our apocryphal writings. Its date cannot be much later 


introduction. ** New Testament 

than the middle of the second century, while the deposition of 
its author shows that forgery of books was not regarded as a 
venial offence (there is no reason to suppose that the teaching of 
the book gave general offence, though Tertullian took exception 
to some points in it). Notwithstanding this condemnation, the 
book continued to be popular in the Church, and its incidents are 
referred to as authentic, and with approval or panegyric, by a long 
train of Fathers (see the lengthy article on ' Thecla,' by Dr. Gwynn, 
in the Diet, of Christ. Biog.). The story is too elaborate even 
to outline with any fulness. Thecla, the daughter of a lady of 
some rank in Iconium, is entranced by Paul's teaching on 
virginity, which she overhears from her window, and, in con- 
sequence, refuses to marry the man to whom she is betrothed. 
This leads to the arrest of the Apostle ; then, when she suc- 
ceeds by bribery in obtaining access to him by night in his 
prison, to her own arrest. She is condemned to be burned, but 
is miraculously delivered from the fire. She rejoins Paul out- 
side the city, and accompanies him to Antioch (Pisidia or 
Syria ?), where, for defending herself against the violence of the 
Syriarch Alexander, and tearing off his crown, she is accused of 
treason. She is condemned to the wild beasts, but in the interval 
is put under the care of the widowed Queen Tryphsena, resident in 
the city. In the arena the beasts refuse to touch her, or she is 
preserved from them. In the end she performs self-baptism by 
plunging into a trough of water containing seals. These are 
killed by lightning to prevent them hurting her. She is the 
means of the conversion of Tryphsena and her household. She 
follows Paul to Myra, then returns to Iconium, and finally 
departs to Seleucia, where she lives in a cave for seventy-two years, 
enlightening many. The extant Greek texts go on to narrate 


Apocryphal Writings S<* introduction. 

new trials that befell her there in old age, but these are probably 
later additions. They are not found in the Latin and Syriac 
texts, which here represent the oldest tradition (the first Greek 
text to be edited was Grabe's, 1698 ; see below, p. xxiv). It 
must indeed be held to be doubtful whether the whole repre- 
sentation of the ascetic life in the cave is not too early for the 
second century. An interesting question is whether some basis 
of fact does not underlie this curious romance or legend. The 
Church Fathers seem unanimously to assume that there was 
such a basis ; and this has been rendered probable by recent 
investigations, which prove that Queen Tryphsena was a real 
personage, and that her relations with Thecla suit the conditions 
of the history (see Notes ; and cp. Ramsay, Church in the Roman 
Empire, p. 386 ; and article in Expositor, sixth series, Vol. VI., 
on * A Lost Chapter of Early Christian History '). The story, 
nevertheless, is in its details a fiction. It is written in praise of 
virginity, which it exalts to an extravagant degree. Paul is 
made to teach that salvation is hardly possible without it. This 
suits the Encratite and Montanistic tendencies of the age, and 
might have been expected to recommend the book to Tertullian. 
But he stumbled at the apparent sanction given in it to a woman 
baptizing and teaching. The story has many traits illustrative 
of second-century usage and tradition ; e.g., its description of 
Paul's personal appearance (see Notes), its allusions to the sign 
of the Cross, prayers for the dead, and the like. 

7. The Falling Asleep of Mary. More fully, The Account 
of St. John the Theologian of the Falling Asleep (koimesis) of the 
Holy Mother of God. This Greek writing (in five MSS.), or a 
more original form of it, is probably the basis of the large family 


Introduction. *§ New Testament 

of versions (Latin, Syriac, Arabic, Sahidic) of the work widely 
circulating in the fifth century under the name, The Passing or 
Departure of Mary ( Transitus Maries). A book bearing this 
name is condemned as apocryphal in the decree of Gelasius 
(A.D. 494?). Its popularity, however, is evidenced by the 
number of early versions which exist of it. These show at the 
same time that, in the strong trend of their age to Mary- worship, 
the fifth-century writers used the largest freedom in recomposing, 
amplifying, embellishing, and otherwise altering, the narrative 
they had received, to suit their own tastes. The longer Syriac 
version (Wright, Lewis, Harris), e.g., extends to five (or six) 
books, and in translation occupies about fifty-seven of Mrs. 
Lewis's large pages (in Wright, thirty pages of J.S.L.). Long 
episodes are introduced, as that of a controversy between believers 
and unbelievers before the governor at Jerusalem, which certainly 
had no place in the original story. The nucleus or groundwork 
of the narrative, however, can readily be distinguished. Mary, 
persecuted by the Jews for her visits to the tomb of Jesus, prays 
to her Son that He would take her from the earth ; and Jesus, 
through the angel Gabriel, grants her prayer (according to a 
Latin version, Jesus had promised to let her know of her death 
the third day before). Betaking herself to Bethlehem with her 
virgins, she prays that John and all the other Apostles may be 
sent to her, and this request also Christ grants. Accordingly, 
John from Ephesus, and the other Apostles from the different 
countries whither they are scattered, are brought, each in a 
cloud of light, to the death-bed of Mary. The Apostles also 
who had died are brought temporarily from their graves to her 
chamber. At Mary's desire, each narrates how and where he 
received his summons. The wonders attending Mary's last 

Apocryphal Writings &&> Introduction. 

hours, the miracles of healing wrought by her, and the instan- 
taneous transportation of herself and the Apostles back to 
Jerusalem, to escape the rage of the Jews, are then described. 
On the Lord's day, amidst visions of angels and heavenly signs, 
Christ Himself appears, and receives her soul to Himself. The 
burial of her body, with miraculous accessories, follows ; finally, 
according to Christ's promise, her body also is translated to 
Paradise (the old Eden, but an abode of bliss). The versions 
vary a good deal in this part ; some (Syriac) making the removal 
to a cave outside Jerusalem precede the death ; another (Tischen- 
dorf's second Latin) making Christ raise Mary from the dead and 
transport her body to heaven after she had been buried in a 
new tomb. In the piece here printed this story is put in the form 
of narrative into the mouth of the Apostle John. Its account 
is probably nearer the original than any of the other versions. 
Even in its simplest form, however, the book represents an 
advanced stage of Mary worship and Church ritual such as cannot 
be earlier than the end of the fourth or beginning of the fifth 
century. Mary is the Blessed One, Our Lady, the Mother of 
God (theotokos), sinless, incorrupt in body as in soul, the inter- 
cessor for the world with Christ, adored of men and angels, a 
worker of miracles, etc. The assumption of her body to 
Paradise is already an article of belief (if, indeed, this composi- 
tion is not the origin of that belief). Church ritual and ceremony 
are carried back to the days of the Apostles. Mary can never 
pray without calling for censer and incense ; John was ministering 
at the altar at Ephesus ; Peter was sacrificing at the altar at 
Rome (Syriac) ; Mark was just 'finishing the canon of the third 
day' at Alexandria ; even Paul, when he received his summons, 
f set up his censer of incense,' and prayed (Syriac). Relics have 


Introduction. *§ New Testament 

a miraculous virtue, etc. There can be little doubt that Ewald 
was correct when he said of the Transitus, that ' this book has 
become from the first the firm foundation for all the unhappy 
adoration of Mary, and for a hundred superstitious things, which 
have intruded with less and less resistance into the churches, 
and have contributed so much to the degeneration and to the 
crippling of all better Christianity 5 (in Wright). Hence its 
importance in the study of the history of Catholic theology. 

Influence of the Apocryphal Writings. It has already 
been mentioned that the Apocryphal Gospels and Acts have 
exercised a powerful influence on later Catholic tradition. 
Through the Breviary, the Legenda Aurea, the Miracle Plays, 
and the popular literature of the Church, a large part of their 
legendary material has become incorporated into current Catholic 
belief, and even doctrine and worship. Joachim and Anna, 
Mary's parents, are saints in the Roman calendar. The 
Protevangelium and the Nativity of Mary furnish the incidents 
for whole groups of Miracle Plays {see the Coventry and the 
Chester Mysteries, in the Shakespeare Society collections). 
The Transitus Marice has given a chief support to, if it did 
not originate, the doctrine of the Assumption of the Virgin, 
which many at the Vatican Council desired to erect into a 
dogma. Mohammed also derived some of his ideas of Christi- 
anity from apocryphal sources. The influence of the apocryphal 
narratives on sacred art has likewise been immense. The ox 
and the ass at the manger, e.g., is a constant feature. The 
influences on general literature are noticed elsewhere. 

The Translations. Tne principle on which a selection 

Apocryphal Writings 5^ Introduction. 

of pieces has been made in the present volume has been ex- 
plained in preceding paragraphs. With the exception of that 
of the Gospel of Peter ■, the translations are taken from the volume 
on ' Apocryphal Gospels, Acts and Revelations ' in the Ante- 
Nicene Christian Library of Messrs T. & T. Clark, Edinburgh. 
The translation of the Gospel of Peter is that of the late Rev. 
John Macpherson, M.A., in Schubert's tractate on the subject, 
likewise published by T. & T. Clark. On this, however, several 
verbal changes have been made to bring it into nearer accord 
with the present state of scholarship. Thanks are due to the 
publishers for permission to use these translations. 


The Protevangelium of James 

{The birth of Mary the Holy Mother of God, and 
•very Glorious Mother of Jesus Christ.} 

IN the records of the twelve tribes of Israel was The 
Joachim, a man rich exceedingly ; and he Father of 
brought his offerings double, saying : There shall be Mary 
of my superabundance to all the people, and there 
shall be the offering for my forgiveness to the Lord 5 
for a propitiation for me. For the great day of the 
Lord was at hand, and the sons of Israel were 
bringing their offerings. And there stood over 
against him Rubim, saying : It is not meet for thee 
first to bring thine offerings, because thou hast not 10 
made seed in Israel. And Joachim was exceedingly 
grieved, and went away to the registers of the twelve 
tribes of the people, saying : I shall see the registers 
of the twelve tribes of Israel, as to whether I alone 
have not made seed in Israel. And he searched, 15 
and found that all the righteous had raised up seed 
in Israel. And he called to mind the patriarch 
Abraham, that in the last day God gave him a son 
Isaac. And Joachim was exceedingly grieved, and 
did not come into the presence of his wife ; but he 20 
retired to the desert, and there pitched his tent, and 
fasted forty days and forty nights, saying in himself: 

James. *>§ New Testament 

Sorrow I will not go down either for food or for drink until 
of Anna the Lord my God shall look upon me, and prayer 

and shall be my food and drink. 
Joachim 2. And his wife Anna mourned in two mournings, 
5 and lamented in two lamentations, saying : I shall 
bewail my widowhood; I shall bewail my childless- 
ness. And the great day of the Lord was at hand ; 
and Judith her maid-servant said : How long dost 
thou humiliate thy soul ? Behold, the great day of 
10 the Lord is at hand, and it is unlawful for thee to 
mourn. But take this head -band, which the woman 
that made it gave to me ; for it is not proper that I 
should wear it, because I am a maid-servant, and it 
has a royal appearance. And Anna said : Depart 
15 from me ; for I have not done such things, and the 
Lord has brought me very low. I fear that some 
wicked person has given it to thee, and thou hast 
come to make me a sharer in thy sin. And Judith 
said : Why should I curse thee, seeing that the Lord 
20 hath shut thy womb, so as not to give thee fruit in 
Israel ? And Anna was grieved exceedingly, and 
put off her garments of mourning, and cleaned her 
head, and put on her wedding garments, and about the 
ninth hour went down to the garden to walk. And 
25 she saw a laurel, and sat under it, and prayed to the 
Lord, saying: O God of our fathers, bless me and 
hear my prayer, as Thou didst bless the womb of 
Sarah, and didst give her a son Isaac. 

3. And gazing towards the heaven, she saw a 

Apocryphal Writings &** James. 

sparrow's nest in the laurel, and' made a lamentation Angelic 
in herself, saying : Alas ! who begot me ? and what Missions 
womb produced me ? because I have become a curse to Anna 
in the presence of the sons of Israel, and I have been and 
reproached, and they have driven me in derision out Joachim 
of the temple of the Lord. Alas ! to what have I 
been likened ? I am not like the fowls of the 
heaven, because even the fowls of the heaven are 
productive before Thee, O Lord. Alas ! to what 
have I been likened ? I am not like the beasts of 10 
the earth, because even the beasts of the earth are 
productive before Thee, O Lord. Alas ! to what 
have I been likened ? I am not like these waters, 
because even these waters are productive before Thee, 
O Lord. Alas ! to what have I been likened ? I *s 
am not like this earth, because even the earth 
bringeth forth its fruits in season, and blesseth Thee, 
O Lord. 

4. And, behold, an angel of the Lord stood by, 
saying : Anna, Anna, the Lord hath heard thy 20 
prayer, and thou shalt conceive, and shalt bring 
forth ; and thy seed shall be spoken of in all the 
world. And Anna said : As the Lord my God 
liveth, if I beget either male or female, I will bring 
it as a gift to the Lord my God ; and it shall 25 
minister to Him in holy things all the days of its 
life. And, behold, two angels came, saying to her : 
Behold, Joachim thy husband is coming with his 
flocks. For an angel of the Lord went down to 


James. +Q New Testament 

Joachim 9 s him, saying : Joachim, Joachim, the Lord God hath 

Joy heard thy prayer. Go down hence ; for, behold, 

thy wife Anna shall conceive. And Joachim went 

dawn and called his shepherds, saying : Bring me 

5 hither ten she-lambs without spot or blemish, and 
they shall be for the Lord my God ; and bring me 
twelve tender calves, and they shall be for the priests 
and the elders ; and a hundred goats for all the 
people. And, behold, Joachim came with his 

io flocks ; and Anna stood by the gate, and saw 
Joachim coming, and she ran and hung upon his neck, 
saying : Now I know that the Lord God hath 
blessed me exceedingly ; for, behold, the widow no 
longer a widow, and I the childless shall conceive. 

15 And Joachim rested the first day in his house. 

5. And on the following day he brought his 
offerings, saying in himself: If the Lord God has 
been rendered gracious to me, the plate on the 
priest's forehead will make it manifest to me. And 

20 Joachim brought his offerings, and observed attentively 
the priest's plate when he went up to the altar of the 
Lord, and he saw no sin in himself. And Joachim 
said : Now I know that the Lord has been gracious 
unto me, and has remitted all my sins. And he 

25 went down from the temple of the Lord justified, 
and departed to his own house. And her months 
were fulfilled, and in the ninth month Anna brought 
forth. And she said to the midwife : What have I 
brought forth ? and she said : A girl. And said 

Apocryphal Writings fa James 

Anna : My soul has been magnified this day. And Birth and 
she laid her down. And the days having been Childhood 
fulfilled, Anna was purified, and gave the breast to of Mary 
the child, and called her name Mary, 

6. And the child grew strong day by day ; and 5 
when she was six months old, her mother set her on 
the ground to try whether she could stand, and she 
walked seven steps and came into her bosom ; and 
she snatched her up, saying : As the Lord my God 
liveth, thou shalt not walk on this earth until I bring 10 
thee into the temple of the Lord. And she made a 
sanctuary in her bed-chamber, and allowed nothing 
common or unclean to pass through her. And 
she called the undefiled daughters of the Hebrews, 
and they led her astray. And when she was a 15 
year old, Joachim made a great feast, and invited 
the priests, and the scribes, and the elders, and all 
the people of Israel. And Joachim brought the 
child to the priests ; and they blessed her, saying : 
O God of our fathers, bless this child, and give her 20 
an everlasting name to be named in all generations. 
And all the people said : So be it, so be it, amen. 
And he brought her to the chief priests ; and they 
blessed her, saying : O God most high, look upon 
this child, and bless her with the utmost blessing, 25 
which shall be for ever. And her mother snatched 
her up, and took her into the sanctuary of her bed- 
chamber, and gave her the breast. And Anna made 
a song to the Lord God, saying : I will sing a song 
c 5 

James. *• New Testament 

Man t0 the Lord m y God ' for He hath looked up ° n - me ' 
taken to and hath taken away the reproach of mine enemies ; 

the Tempk ™& the Lord hath given me the fruit of His 

righteousness, singular in its kind, and richly en- 

5 dowed before Him. Who will tell the sons of 

Rubim that Anna gives suck? Hear, hear, ye 

twelve tribes of Israel, that Anna gives suck. And 

she laid her to rest in the bed-chamber of her 

sanctuary, and went out and ministered unto them. 

10 And when the supper was ended, they went down 

rejoicing, and glorifying the God of Israel. - 

7. And her months were added to the child. 

And the child was two years old, and Joachim 

said : Let us take her up to the temple of the Lord, 

15 that we may pay the vow that we have vowed, lest 

perchance the Lord send to us, and our ottering be 

not received. And Anna said : Let us wait for the 

third year, in order that the child may not seek for 

father or mother. And Joachim said: So let us 

so wait. And the child was three years old, and 

Joachim said: Invite the daughters of the Hebrews 

that are undefiled, and let them take each a lamp, 

and let them stand with the lamps burning, that the 

child may not turn back, and her heart be captivated 

25 from the temple of the Lord. And they did so 

until they went up into the temple of the Lord. 

And the priest received her, and kissed her, and 

blessed her, saying : The Lord has magnified thy 

name in all generations. In thee, on the last of the 

Apocryphal Writings $&> James. 

days, the Lord will manifest His redemption to the Mary 
sons of Israel. And he set her down upon the third abides in 
step of the altar, and the Lord God sent grace upon the Temple 
her ; and she danced with her feet, and all the house 
of Israel loved her. 5 

8. And her parents went down marvelling, and 
praising the Lord God, because the child had not 
turned back. And Mary was in the temple of the 
Lord as if she were a dove that dwelt there, and she 
received food from the hand of an angel. And when 10 
she was twelve years old there was held a council of 
the priests, saying : Behold, Mary has reached the 
age of twelve years in the temple of the Lord. 
What then shall we do with her, lest perchance she 
defile the sanctuary of the Lord ? And they said to 15 
the high priest : Thou standest by the altar of the 
Lord ; go in, and pray concerning her ; and what- 
ever the Lord shall manifest unto thee, that also will 
we do. And the high priest went in, taking the robe 
with the twelve bells into the holy of holies ; and he 20 
prayed concerning her. And behold an angel of the 
Lord stood by him, saying unto him : Zacharias, 
Zacharias, go out and assemble the widowers of the 
people, and let them bring each his rod; and to 
whomsoever the Lord shall show a sign, his wife 25 
shall she be. And the heralds went out through all 
the circuit of Judea, and the trumpet of the Lord 
sounded, and all ran. 

9. And Joseph, throwing away his axe, went out 

James. +9 New Testament 

Joseph to meet them ; and when they had assembled, they 
chosen as went away to the high priest, taking with them their 
Mary's rods. And he, taking the rods of all of them, 
Protector entered into the temple, and prayed; and having 
5 ended his prayer, he took the rods and came out, and 
gave them to them : but there was no sign in them, 
and Joseph took his rod last ; and, behold, a dove 
came out of the rod, and flew upon Joseph's head. 
And the priest said to Joseph, Thou hast been 
10 chosen by lot to take into thy keeping the virgin of 
the Lord. But Joseph refused, saying: I have 
children, and I am an old man, and she is a young 
girl. I am afraid lest I become a laughing-stock to 
the sons of Israel. And the priest said to Joseph : 
15 Fear the Lord thy God, and remember what the 
Lord did to Dathan, and Abiram, and Korah ; how 
the earth opened, and they were swallowed up on 
account of their contradiction. And now fear, O 
Joseph, lest the same things happen in thy house. And 
20 Joseph was afraid, and took her into his keeping. And 
Joseph said to Mary : Behold, I have received thee 
from the temple of the Lord ; and now I leave thee 
in my house, and go away to build my buildings, 
and I shall come to thee. The Lord will protect 

25 thee. 

10. And there was a council of the priests, 
saying : Let us make a veil for the temple of the 
Lord. And the priest said : Call to me undefiled 
virgins of the family of David. And the officers 

Apocryphal Writings &» James. 

went away, and sought, and found seven virgins. The 
And the priest remembered the child Mary, that she Annuncia- 
was of the family of David, and undefiled before God. tlon 
And the officers went away and brought her. And 
they brought them into the temple of the Lord. 5 
And the priest said: Choose for me by lot who 
shall spin the gold, and the white, and the fine linen, 
and the silk, and the blue, and the scarlet, and the 
true purple. And the true purple and the scarlet 
fell to the lot of Mary, and she took them, and 10 
went away to her house. And at that time Zacharias 
was dumb, and Samuel was in his place until the 
time that Zacharias spake. And Mary took the 
scarlet, and span it. 

1 1 . And she took the pitcher, and went out to fill 15 
it with water. And, behold, a voice saying : Hail, 
thou who hast received grace ; the Lord is with 
thee ; blessed art thou among women ! And she 
looked round, on the right hand and on the left, to 
see whence this voice came. And she went away, 20 
trembling, to her house, and put down the pitcher ; 
and taking the purple, she sat down on her seat, and 
drew it out. And, behold, an angel of the Lord 
stood before her, saying : Fear not, Mary ; for thou 
hast found grace before the Lord of all, and thou 25 
shalt conceive, according to His word. And she 
hearing, reasoned with herself, saying : Shall I con- 
ceive by the Lord, the living God? and shall I 
bring forth as every woman brings forth ? And the 


james. +$ New Testament 

Mary angel of the Lord said : Not so, Mary ; for the 

visits power of the Lord shall overshadow thee : where- 

Eli'z.abeth fore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee 

shall be called the Son of the Most High. And 

5 thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save 

His people from their sins. And Mary said : Behold, 

the servant of the Lord before His face : let it be 

unto me according to thy word. 

12. And she made the purple and the scarlet, and 
10 took them to the priest. And the priest blessed her, 

and said : Mary, the Lord God hath magnified thy 
name, and thou shall be blessed in all the generations 
of the earth. And Mary, with great joy, went away 
to Elizabeth her kinswoman, and knocked at the 

15 door. And when Elizabeth heard her, she threw 
away the scarlet, and ran to the door, and opened it ; 
and seeing Mary, she blessed her, and said : Whence 
is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should 
come to me ? for, behold, that which is in me leaped 

20 and blessed thee. But Mary had forgotten the 
mysteries of which the archangel Gabriel had spoken, 
and gazed up into heaven, and said : Who am I, O 
Lord, that all the generations of the earth should 
bless me? And she remained three months with 

25 Elizabeth ; and day by day she grew bigger. And 
Mary being afraid, went away to her own house, and 
hid herself from the sons of Israel. And she was 
sixteen years old when these mysteries happened. 

13. And she was in her sixth month ; and, behold, 

Apocry phal Writings 5*» James. 

Joseph came back from his building, and, entering Joseph's 
into his house, he discovered that she was big with Grief over 
child. And he smote his face, and threw himself on Mary's 
the ground upon the sackcloth, and wept bitterly, State 
saying : With what face shall I look upon the Lord 5 
my God ? and what prayer shall I make about this 
maiden ? because I received her a virgin out of the 
temple of the Lord, and I have not watched over 
her. Who is it that has hunted me down ? Who has 
done this evil thing in my house, and defiled the 10 
virgin ? Has not the history of Adam been repeated 
in me ? For just as Adam was in the hour of his 
singing praise, and the serpent came, and found Eve 
alone, and completely deceived her, so it has happened 
to me also. And Joseph stood up from the sackcloth, 15 
and called Mary, and said to her : O thou who hast 
been cared for by God, why hast thou done this, and 
forgotten the Lord thy God? Why hast thou 
brought low thy soul, thou that wast brought up in 
the holy of holies, and that didst receive food from 20 
the hand of an angel? And she wept bitterly, 
saying: I am innocent, and have known no man. 
And Joseph said to her : Whence then is that which 
is in thy womb ? And she said : As the Lord my 
God liveth, I do not know whence it is to me. ^ 25 

14. And Joseph was greatly afraid, and retired 
from her, and considered what he should do in regard 
to her. And Joseph said : If I conceal her sin, I 
find myself fighting against the law of the Lord ; and 

James. +§ New Testament 

Joseph isf if I expose her to the sons of Israel, I am afraid lest 

Mary that which is in her be from an angel, and I shall be 

before the found giving up innocent blood to the doom of death. 

Tribunal What then shall I do with her? I will put her 

s away from me secretly. And night came upon him ; 

and, behold, an angel of the Lord appears to him in 

a dream, saying : Be not afraid for this maiden, for 

that which is in her is of the Holy Spirit ; and she 

will bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name 

10 Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. 

And Joseph arose from sleep, and glorified the God 

of Israel, who had given him this grace ; and he 

kept her. 

15. And Annas the scribe came to him, and said: 
15 Why hast thou not appeared in our assembly ? And 
Joseph said to him : Because I was weary from my 
journey, and rested the first day. And he turned, 
and saw that Mary was with child. And he ran 
away to the priest, and said to him : Joseph, whom 
20 thou didst vouch for, has committed a grievous crime. 
And the priest said : How so ? And he said : He 
has defiled the virgin whom he received out of the 
temple of the Lord, and has married her by stealth, 
and has not revealed it to the sons of Israel. And 
25 the priest answering, said : Has Joseph done this ? 
Then said Annas the scribe : Send officers, and thou 
wilt find the virgin with child. And the officers 
went away, and found it as he had said ; and they 
brought her along with Joseph to the tribunal. And 

Apocryphal Writings S«* James. 

the priest said : Mary, why hast thou done this ? and They drink 
why hast thou brought thy soul low, and forgotten the Water 
the Lord thy God? Thou that wast reared in the of the 
holy of holies, and that didst receive food from the Ordeal 
hand of an angel, and didst hear the hymns, and 5 
didst dance before Him, why hast thou done this ? 
And she wept bitterly, saying : As the Lord my 
God liveth, I am pure before Him, and know not a 
man. And the priest said to Joseph : Why hast 
thou done this ? And Joseph said : As the Lord 10 
liveth, I am pure concerning her. Then said the 
priest : Bear not false witness, but speak the truth. 
Thou hast married her by stealth, and hast not 
revealed it to the sons of Israel, and hast not bowed 
thy head under the strong hand, that thy seed might 15 
be blessed. And Joseph was silent. 

16. And the priest said : Give up the virgin whom 
thou didst receive out of the temple of the Lord. 
And Joseph burst into tears. And the priest said : 
I will give you to drink of the water of the ordeal 20 
of the Lord, and He shall make manifest your sins in 
your eyes. And the priest took the water, and gave 
Joseph to drink, and sent him away to the hill- 
country ; and he returned unhurt. And he gave to 
Mary also to drink, and sent her away to the hill- 25 
country ; and she returned unhurt. And all the 
people wondered that sin did not appear in them. 
And the priest said : If the Lord God has not made 
manifest your sins, neither do I judge you. And 


James. *§ New Testament 

Joseph fcf he sent them away. And Joseph took Maryland 
Mary went away to his own house, rejoicing and glorifying 
'tourney to the God of Israel. 

Bethlehem 17. And there was an order from the Emperor 
, Augustus, that all in Bethlehem of Judea should be 
enrolled. And Joseph said: I shall enrol my sons, 
but what shall I do with this maiden ? How shall 
I enrol her ? As my wife ? I am ashamed. As 
my daughter then ? But all the sons of Israel know 
JO that she is not my daughter. The day of the Lord 
shall itself bring it to pass as the Lord will. And 
he saddled the ass, and set her upon it 5 and his son 
led it, and Joseph followed. And when they had 
come within three miles, Joseph turned and saw her 
,5 sorrowful; and he said to himself: Likely that 
which is in her distresses her. And again Joseph 
turned and saw her laughing. And he said to her : 
Mary, how is it that I see in thy face at one time 
laughter, at another sorrow? And Mary said to 
=o Joseph : Because I see two peoples with my eyes ; 
the one weeping and lamenting, and the other 
rejoicing and exulting. And they came into the 
middle of the road, and Mary said to him : Take me 
down from off the ass, for that which is in me presses 
, 5 to come forth. And he took her down from off the 
ass, and said to her : Whither shall I lead thee, and 
cover thy disgrace I for the place is desert. 

18. And he found a cave there, and led her into 
it • and leaving his two sons beside her, he went 


Apocryphal Writings 5^ James. 

out to seek a midwife in the district of Beth- Miraculous 
lehem. Occurrences 

And I Joseph was walking, and was not walking ; on the Way 
and I looked up into the sky, and saw the sky 
astonished ; and I looked up to the pole of the 5 
heavens, and saw it standing, and the birds of the 
air keeping still. And I looked down upon the 
earth, and saw a trough lying, and work-people 
reclining : and their hands were in the trough. And 
those that were eating did not eat, and those that xo 
were rising did not carry it up, and those that were 
conveying anything to their mouths did not convey 
it ; but the faces of all were looking upwards. And 
I saw the sheep walking, and the sheep stood still ; 
and the shepherd raised his hand to strike them, and *5 
his hand remained up. And I looked upon the 
current of the river, and I saw the mouths of the 
kids resting on the water and not drinking, and all 
things in a moment were driven from their course. 

19. And I saw a woman coming down from the *> 
hill-country, and she said to me : O man, whither 
art thou going ? And I said : I am seeking an 
Hebrew midwife. And she answered and said unto 
me : Art thou of Israel ? And I said to her : Yes. 
And she said : And who is it that is bringing forth 25 
in the cave ? And I said : A woman betrothed to 
me. And she said to me: Is she not thy wife? 
And I said to her : It is Mary that was reared in 
the temple of the Lord, and I obtained her by lot as 


James. *S New Testament 

Birth of my wife. And yet she is not my wife, but has 
Jesus conceived of the Holy Spirit. 

And the midwife said to him : Is this true ? And 
Joseph said to her : Come and see. And the mid- 

5 wife went away with him. And they stood in the 
place of the cave, and behold a luminous cloud 
overshadowed the cave. And the midwife said: 
My soul has been magnified this day, because mine 
eyes have seen strange things — because salvation has 

10 been brought forth to Israel. And immediately the 
cloud disappeared out of the cave, and a great light 
shone in the cave, so that the eyes could not bear it. 
And in a little that light gradually decreased, until 
the infant appeared, and went and took the breast 

*S from his mother Mary. And the midwife cried out, 
and said : This is a great day to me, because I have 
seen this strange sighte And the midwife went 
forth out of the cave, and Salome met her. And 
she said to her : Salome, Salome, I have a strange 

20 sight to relate to thee : a virgin has brought forth— a 
thing which her nature admits not of. Then said 
Salome: As the Lord my God liveth, unless I 
thrust in my finger, and search the parts I will not 
believe that a virgin has brought forth. 

25 20. And the midwife went in, and said to Mary : 
Show thyself; for no small controversy has arisen 
about thee. And Salome put in her finger, and 
cried out, and said : Woe is me for mine iniquity and 
mine unbelief, because I have tempted the living 


Apocryphal Writings §&> James. 

God ; and, behold, my hand is dropping off as if Salome 9 s 

burned with fire. And she bent her knees before Punishment 

the Lord, saying : O God of my fathers, remember and Cure 

that I am the seed of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob ; 

do not make a show of me to the sons of Israel, 5 

but restore me to the poor ; for Thou knowest, O 

Lord, that in Thy name I have performed my 

services, and that I have received my reward at Thy 

hand. And, behold, an angel of the Lord stood by 

her, saying to her : Salome, Salome, the Lord hath 10 

heard thee. Put thy hand to the infant, and carry 

it, and thou wilt have safety and joy. And Salome 

went and carried it, saying : I will worship Him, 

because a great King has been born to Israel. And, 

behold, Salome was immediately cured, and she went 15 

forth out of the cave justified. And behold a 

voice saying : Salome, Salome, tell not the strange 

things thou hast seen, until the child has come into 


2 1 . And, behold, Joseph was ready to go into *> 
Judea. And there was a great commotion in Beth- 
lehem of Judea, for Magi came, saying : Where is 
he that is born king of the Jews ? for we have seen 
his star in the east, and have come to worship him. 
And when Herod heard, he was much disturbed, 25 
and sent officers to the Magi. And he sent for the 
priests, and examined them, saying : How is it 
written about the Christ ? where is He to be born ? 
And they said : In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is 


james. ^9 New Testament 

Visit of written. And he sent them away. And he ex- 

the Magi amined the Magi, saying to them : What sign have 

you seen in reference to the king that has been born ? 

And the Magi said : We have seen a star of great 

5 size shining among these stars, and obscuring their 
light, so that the stars did not appear ; and we thus 
knew that a king has been born to Israel, and we 
have come to worship him. And Herod said : Go 
and seek him ; and if you find him, let me know, 

10 in order that I also may go and worship him. And 
the Magi went out. And, behold, the star which 
they had seen in the east went before them until they 
came to the cave, and it stood over the top of the 
cave. And the Magi saw the infant with His 

15 mother Mary ; and they brought forth from their 
bag gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. And 
having been warned by the angel not to go into 
Judea, they went into their own country by another 

so 22. And when Herod knew that he had been 
mocked by the Magi, in a rage he sent murderers, 
saying to them : Slay the children from two years 
old and under. And Mary, having heard that the 
children were being killed, was afraid, and took the 

2 5 infant and swaddled Him, and put Him into an ox- 
stall. And Elizabeth, having heard that they were 
searching for John, took him and went up into the 
hill-country, and kept looking where to conceal him. 
And there was no place of concealment. And 

Apocryphal Writings §o James. 

Elizabeth, groaning with a loud voice, says : O Murder 0/ 

mountain of God, receive mother and child. And Zacharias 

immediately the mountain was cleft, and received 

her. And a light shone about them, for an 

angel of the Lord was with them, watching over 5 


23. And Herod searched for John, and sent 
officers to Zacharias, saying : Where hast thou hid 
thy son ? And he, answering, said to them : I am 
the servant of God in holy things, and I sit constantly 10 
in the temple of the Lord: I do not know where 
my son is. And the officers went away, and re- 
ported all these things to Herod. And Herod was 
enraged, and said: His son is destined to be king 
over Israel. And he sent to him again, saying : Tell 15 
the truth ; where is thy son ? for thou knowest that 
thy life is in my hand. And Zacharias said : I am 
God's martyr, if thou sheddest my blood ; for the 
Lord will receive my spirit, because thou sheddest 
innocent blood at the vestibule of the temple of the 20 
Lord. And Zacharias was murdered about day- 
break. And the sons of Israel did not know that 
he had been murdered. 

24. But at the hour of the salutation the priests 
went away, and Zacharias did not come forth to 25 
meet them with a blessing, according to his custom. 
And the priests stood waiting for Zacharias to salute 
him at the prayer, and to glorify the Most High. 
And he still delaying, they were all afraid. But one 


James. *°S Apocry phal Writings 

Murder of of them ventured to go in, and he saw clotted blood 
Zacharias beside the altar ; and he heard a voice saying : 
Zacharias has been murdered, and his blood shall not 
be wiped up until his avenger come. And hearing 
s this saying, he was afraid, and went out and told it 
to the priests. And they ventured in, and saw what 
had happened ; and the fretwork of the temple made 
a wailing noise, and they rent their clothes from the 
top even to the bottom. And they found not his 

iobody, but they found his blood turned into stone. 
And they were afraid, and went out and reported to 
the people that Zacharias had been murdered. And 
all the tribes of the people heard, and mourned, and 
lamented for him three days and three nights. And 

15 after the three days, the priests consulted as to whom 
they should put in his place ; and the lot fell upon 
Simeon. For it was he who had been warned by 
the Holy Spirit that he should not see death until he 
should see the Christ in the flesh. 

20 25. And I James that wrote this history in Jeru- 
salem, a commotion having arisen when Herod died, 
withdrew myself to the wilderness until the com- 
motion in Jerusalem ceased, glorifying the Lord 
God, who had given me the gift and the wisdom to 

25 write this history. And grace shall be with them 
that fear our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory 
to ages of ages. Amen. 

The Gospel of Thomas 

{Thomas the Israelite Philosopher s Account of the 
Infancy of the Lord.) 

I THOMAS, an Israelite, write you this ao Miracles 
count, that all the brethren from among the f Jesus' s 
heathen may know the miracles of our Lord Jesus Infancy 
Christ in His infancy, which He did after His birth 
in our country. The beginning of it is as follows : — 5 

2. This child Jesus, when five years old, was 
playing in the ford of a mountain stream ; and He 
collected the flowing waters into pools, and made 
them clear immediately, and by a word alone He 
made them obey Him. And having made some 10 
soft clay, He fashioned out of it twelve sparrows. 
And it was the Sabbath when He did these things. 
And there were also many other children playing 
with Him. And a certain Jew, seeing what Jesus 
was doing, playing on the Sabbath, went ofFimmedi- 15 
ately, and said to his father Joseph : Behold, thy son 
is at the stream, and has taken clay, and made of it 
twelve birds, and has profaned the Sabbath. And 
Joseph, coming to the place and seeing, cried out to 
Him, saying : Wherefore doest thou on the Sabbath *> 
what it is not lawful to do i And Jesus clapped His 
hands, and cried out to the sparrows, and said to 

U ft w 

Thomas. *Q New Testament 

The Son them : Off you go ! And the sparrows flew, and 
of Annas went off crying. And the Jews seeing this were 
withered amazed, and went away and reported to their chief 
up men what they had seen Jesus doing. 

5 3. And the son of Annas the scribe was standing 
there with Joseph ; and he took a willow branch, and 
let out the waters which Jesus had collected. And 
Jesus, seeing what was done, was angry, and said to 
him: O wicked, impious, and foolish! what harm 

10 did the pools and the waters do to thee ? Behold, 
even now thou shalt be dried up like a tree, and thou 
shalt not bring forth either leaves, or root, or fruit. 
And straightway that boy was quite dried up. And 
Jesus departed, and went to Joseph's house. But 

15 the parents of the boy that had been dried up 
took him up, bewailing his youth, and brought him to 
Joseph, and reproached him because [said they] thou 
hast such a child doing such things. 

4. After that He was again passing through the 

20 village ; and a boy ran up against Him, and struck 
His shoulder. And Jesus was angry, and said to 
him : Thou shalt not go back the way thou earnest. 
And immediately he fell down dead. And some 
who saw what had taken place, said: Whence 

25 was this child begotten, that every word of his is 
certainly accomplished? And the parents of the 
dead boy went away to Joseph, and blamed him, 
saying : Since thou hast such a child, it is impossible 
for thee to live with us in the village ; or else teach 

Apocryphal Writings §+ Thomas. 
h h1d t0 blCSS ' 3nd n0t t0 Curse '" for he is killing our Jesus 

c *. ! h L joseph caiied the chM »*«. «** ■tssst' 

mon.shed Him saying : Why doest thou such things,^ Si 

and these people suffer and hate us, and persecute on a Bo, 

ml And Jesus said : I know that these words of 

thine are not thine own ; nevertheless for thy sake I 

will be silent ; but they shall bear their punishment. 

And straightway those that accused Him were struck 

blind. And those who saw it were much afraid and 10 

in great perplexity, and said about Him: Every 

word which he spoke, whether good or bad, was an 

act, and became a wonder. And when they saw 

that Jesus had done such a thing, Joseph rose and 

took hold of His ear, and pulled it hard. And the „ 

child was very angry, and said to him : It is enough 

for thee to seek, and not to find ; and most certainly 

thou hast not done wisely. Knowest thou not that 

1 am thine ? Do not trouble me. 

6. And a certain teacher, Zacchseus by name, was *> 
standing in a certain place, and heard Jesus thus 
speaking to his father; and he wondered exceedingly, 
that being a child, he should speak in such a way. 
And a few days thereafter he came to Joseph, and 
said to him : Thou hast a sensible child, and he has * 5 
some mind. Give him to me, then, that he may 
earn letters; and I shall teach him along with the 
letters all knowledge, both how to address all the 
elders, and to honour them as forefathers and fathers 

Thomas. *°S New Testament 

Zacebsut and how to love those of his own age. And He 
mL/asaid to him all the letters from the Alpha even to 

teach Jesus the Omega, clearly and with great exactness. And 
teacn je ^ ^^6 ^^ ^ teacher Zacch ^ ug> and sai d to 

5 him: Thou who art ignorant of the nature of 
the Alpha, how canst thou teach others the 
Beta ? Thou hypocrite! first, if thou knowest, 
teach the A, and then we shall believe thee about 
the B Then He began to question the teacher 
M about the first letter, and he was not able to answer 
Him And in the hearing of many, the child says 
to Zacchjeus: Hear, O teacher, the order of the 
first letter, and notice here how it has lines, and a 
middle stroke crossing those which thou seest 
I5 common ; (lines) brought together ; the highest part 
supporting them, and again bringing them under one 
head; with three points [of intersection] ; of the 
same kind; principal and subordinate; of equal 
length. Thou hast the lines of the A. 
" 7 And when the teacher Zacchaeus heard the 
! ° child speaking such and so great allegones of the 
first letter, he was at a great loss about such a 
narrative, and about His teaching. And he said to 
those that were present : Alas ! I, wretch that I am, 
2S am at a loss, bringing shame upon myself by having 
dragged this child hither. Take him away, then, 1 
beseech thee, brother Joseph. I cannot endure the 
sternness of his look ; I cannot make out his meaning 
at all. That child does not belong to this earth ; 

Apocryphal Writing s 5e- Thomas. 

he can tame even fire. Assuredly he was born before Zacchtus 

the creation of the world. What sort of a belly put to 

bore him, what sort of a womb nourished him, I do Shame 

not know. Alas ! my friend, he has carried me 

away ; I cannot get at his meaning : thrice wretched 5 

that I am, I have deceived myself. I made a struggle 

to have a scholar, and I was found to have a teacher. 

My mind is filled with shame, my friends, because I, 

an old man, have been conquered by a child. There 

is nothing for me but despondency and death on xo 

account of this boy, for I am not able at this hour to 

look him in the face ; and when everybody says that 

I have been beaten by a little child, what can I say ? 

And how can I give an account of the lines of the 

first letter that he spoke about ? I know not, O my 15 

friends ; for I can make neither beginning nor end of 

him. Therefore, I beseech thee, brother Joseph, 

take him home. What great thing he is, either god 

or angel, or what I am to say, I know not. 

8. And when the Jews were encouraging Zac- 20 
chaeus, the child laughed aloud, and said : Now let 
thy learning bring forth fruit, and let the blind in 
heart see. I am here from above, that I may curse 
them, and call them to the things that are above, as 
He that sent me on your account has commanded me. 25 
And when the child ceased speaking, immediately all 
were made whole who had fallen under His curse. 
And no one after that dared to make Him angry, 
lest he should curse him, and he should be maimed. 


Thomas. *°$ New Testament 

Zeno and 9» And some days after, Jesus was playing in an 

a Young upper room of a certain house, and one of the 

Man children that were playing with Him fell down from 

brought to the house, and was killed. And, when the other 

Life children saw this, they ran away, and Jesus alone 

stood still. And the parents of the dead child 

coming, reproached Jesus, and they threatened Him. 

And Jesus leaped down from the roof, and stood 

beside the body of the child, and cried with a loud 

10 voice, and said : Zeno — for that was his name — 

stand up, and tell me; did I throw thee down? 

And he stood up immediately, and said : Certainly 

not, my lord ; thou didst not throw me down, but 

hast raised me up. And those that saw this were 

15 struck with astonishment. And the child's parents 

glorified God on account of the miracle that had 

happened, and adored Jesus. 

10. A few days after, a young man was splitting 

wood in the corner, and the axe came down and cut 

20 the sole of his foot in two, and he died from loss of 

blood. And there was a great commotion, and 

people ran together, and the child Jesus ran there 

too. And he pressed through the crowd, and laid 

hold of the young man's wounded foot, and he was 

25 cured immediately. And He said to the young 

man : Rise up now, split the wood, and remember 

me. And the crowd seeing what had happened, 

adored the child, saying : Truly the Spirit of God 

dwells in this child. 


Apocryphal Writings &&> Thomas. 

1 1 . And when He was six years old, His mother Sundry 
gave Him a pitcher, and sent Him to draw water, Miracles 
and bring it into the house. But He struck against 

some one in the crowd, and the pitcher was broken. 
And Jesus unfolded the cloak which He had on, and 
filled it with water, and carried it to His mother. 5 
And His mother, seeing the miracle that had 
happened, kissed Him, and kept within herself the 
mysteries which she had seen Him doing. 

12. And again in seed-time the child went out 10 
with His father to sow corn in their land. And 
while His father was sowing, the child Jesus also 
sowed one grain of corn. And when He had reaped 
it, and threshed it, He made a hundred kors ; and 
calling all the poor of the village to the threshing- 15 
floor, He gave them the corn, and Joseph took away 
what was left of the corn. And He was eight years 
old when He did this miracle. 

13. And His father was a carpenter, and at that 
time made ploughs and yokes. And a certain rich 20 
man ordered him to make him a couch. And one 
of what is called the cross pieces being too short, 
they did not know what to do. The child Jesus 
said to His father Joseph : Put down the two pieces 
of wood, and make them even in the middle. And 25 
Joseph did as the child said to him. And Jesus 
stood at the other end, and took hold of the shorter 
piece of wood, and stretched it, and made it equal 
to the other. And His father Joseph saw it, and 


Thomas. *S New Testament 

Jesus' s wondered, and embraced the child, and kissed Him, 
Secon d saying : Blessed am I, because God has given me 
Teacher this child. 

14. And Joseph, seeing that the child was vigorous 

5 in mind and body, again resolved that He should not 
remain ignorant of the letters, and took Him away, 
and handed Him over to another teacher. And the 
teacher said to Joseph : I shall first teach him the 
Greek letters, and then the Hebrew. For the 

10 teacher was aware of the trial that had been made 
of the child, and was afraid of Him. Nevertheless 
he wrote out the alphabet, and gave Him all his 
attention for a long time, and He made him no 
answer. And Jesus said to him : If thou art really 

15 a teacher, and art well acquainted with the letters, 
tell me the power of the Alpha, and I will tell thee 
the power of the Beta. And the teacher was en- 
raged at this, and struck Him on the head. And 
the child, being in pain, cursed him ; and immedi- 

20 ately he swooned away, and fell to the ground on his 
face. And the child returned to Joseph's house; 
and Joseph was grieved, and gave orders to His 
mother, saying : Do not let him go outside of the 
door, because those that make him angry die. 

25 15. And after some time, another master again, a 
genuine friend of Joseph, said to him : Bring the 
child to my school ; perhaps I shall be able to flatter 
him into learning his letters. And Joseph said : If 
thou hast the courage, brother, take him with thee. 


Apocryphal Writings §&> Thomas. 

And he took Him with him in fear and great agony ; Jesus* s 
but the child went along pleasantly. And going Third 
boldly into the school, He found a book lying on the Teacher 
reading-desk ; and taking it, He read not the letters 
that were in it, but opening His mouth, He spoke by 5 
the Holy Spirit, and taught the law to those that 
were standing round. And a great crowd having 
come together, stood by and heard Him, and 
wondered at the ripeness of His teaching, and the 
readiness of His words, and that He, child as He *o 
was, spoke in such a way. And Joseph hearing of 
it, was afraid, and ran to the school, in doubt lest 
this master too should be without experience. And 
the master said to Joseph : Know, brother, that I 
have taken the child as a scholar, and he is full of 15 
much grace and wisdom ; but I beseech thee, 
brother, take him home. And when the child heard 
this, He laughed at him directly, and said: Since 
thou hast spoken aright, and witnessed aright, for 
thy sake he also that was struck down shall be 20 
cured. And immediately the other master was 
cured. And Joseph took the child, and went 
away home. 

16. And Joseph sent his son James to tie up 
wood and bring it home, and the child Jesus also 25 
followed him. And when James was gathering the 
fagots, a viper bit James' hand. And when he was 
racked [with pain], and at the point of death, Jesus 
came near and blew upon the bite ; and the pain 


Thomas. *J New Testament 

Other ceased directly, and the beast burst, and instantly 
Miracles of James remained safe and sound. 
raising the 17. And after this the infant of one of Joseph s 
£W neighbours fell sick and died, and its mother wept 
5 sore. And Jesus heard that there was great lament- 
ation and commotion, and ran in haste, and found the 
child dead, and touched his breast, and said : I say 
to thee, child, be not dead, but live, and be with thy 
mother. And directly it looked up and laughed. 
10 And he said to the woman : Take it, and give it 
milk, and remember me. And seeing this, the 
crowd that was standing by wondered, and said : 
Truly this child was either God or an angel of God, 
for every word of his is a certain fact. And Jesus 
15 went out thence, playing with the other children. 

1 8. And some time after there occurred a great 
commotion while a house was building, and Jesus 
stood up and went away to the place. And seeing a 
man lying dead, He took him by the hand, and 
*o said: Man, I say to thee, arise, and go on with thy 
work. And directly he rose up, and adored Him. 
And seeing this, the crowd wondered, and said: 
This child is from heaven, for he has saved many 
souls from death, and he continues to save during all 

25 his life. , , tj. 

io. And when He was twelve years old ttis 

parents went as usual to Jerusalem to the feast of the 

passover with their fellow-travellers. And after the 

passover they were coming home again. And while 

3 o 

Apocryphal Writings $+ Thomas. 

they were coming home, the child Jesus went back Jesus and 

to Jerusalem. And His parents thought that he was the Doctors 

in the company. And having gone one day's journey, 

they sought for Him among their relations; and 

not finding Him, they were in great grief, and turned 5 

back to the city seeking for Him. And after the 

third day they found Him in the temple, sitting in 

the midst of the teachers, both hearing the law and 

asking them questions. And they were all attending 

to Him, and wondering that He, being a child, was 10 

shutting the mouths of the elders and teachers of the 

people, explaining the main points of the law and the 

parables of the prophets. And his mother Mary 

coming up, said to Him : Why hast thou done this 

to us, child ? Behold, we have been seeking for is 

thee in great trouble. And Jesus said to them: 

Why do you seek me? Do you not know that I 

must be about my Father's business? And the 

scribes and the Pharisees said : Art thou the mother 

of this child ? And she said : I am. And they 20 

said to her : Blessed art thou among women, for 

God hath blessed the fruit of thy womb ; for such 

glory, and such virtue and wisdom, we have neither 

seen nor heard ever. And Jesus rose up, and followed 

His mother, and was subject to His parents. And His 25 

mother observed all these things that had happened. 

And Jesus advanced in wisdom, and stature, and grace. 

To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 

The Gospel of Pseudo- 

[Chapters 1^2$: see Introduction.) 

Jesus and \ ND when Herod saw that he had been made 

the J\ sport of by the Magi, his heart swelled with 

Dragons rage, and he sent through all the roads, wishing to seize 

them and put them to death. But when he could 

5 not find them at all, he sent anew to Bethlehem and 

all its borders, and slew all the male children whom 

he found of two years old and under, according to 

the time that he had ascertained from the Magi. 

Now the day before this was done Joseph was 

,0 warned in his sleep by the angel of the Lord, who 

said to him : Take Mary and the child, and go into 

Egypt by the way of the desert. And Joseph went 

according to the saying of the angel. 

18. And having come to a certain cave, and wishing 
15 to rest in it, the blessed Mary dismounted from her 
beast, and sat down with the child Jesus in her bosom. 
And there were with Joseph three boys, and with 
Mary a girl, going on the journey along with them. 
And, lo, suddenly there came forth from the cave 
ao many dragons ; and when the children saw them, 
they cried out in great terror. Then Jesus went 
down from the bosom of His mother, and stood on 


Apocryphal Writings So> Pseudo-Matthew. 

His feet before the dragons ; and they adored Jesus, Miraculous 
and thereafter retired. Then was fulfilled that which Submission 
was said by David the prophet, saying : Praise the of Wild 
Lord from the earth, ye dragons ; ye dragons, and Beasts 
all ye deeps. And the young child Jesus, walking 5 
before them, commanded them to hurt no man. But 
Mary and Joseph were very much afraid lest the 
child should be hurt by the dragons. And Jesus 
said to them : Do not be afraid, and do not consider 
me to be a little child ; for I am and always have m 
been perfect ; and all the beasts of the forest must 
needs be tame before me. 

19. Lions and panthers adored Him likewise, and 
accompanied them in the desert. Wherever Joseph 
and the blessed Mary went, they went before them 15 
showing them the way, and bowing their heads ; and 
showing their submission by wagging their tails, they 
adored Him with great reverence. Now at first, 
when Mary saw the lions and the panthers, and 
various kinds of wild beasts, coming about them, she 20 
was very much afraid. But the infant Jesus looked 
into her face with a joyful countenance, and said : 
Be not afraid, mother ; for they come not to do thee 
harm, but they make haste to serve both thee and me. 
With these words He drove all fear from her heart. 25 
And the lions kept walking with them, and with the 
oxen, and the asses, and the beasts of burden which 
carried their baggage, and did not hurt a single one 
of them, though they kept beside them ; but they 


Pseudo-Matthew. #$ N ew Testament 

Miracle of were tame among the sheep and the rams which they 

the Palm had brought with them from Judea, and which they 

Tree had with them. They walked among wolves, and 

feared nothing ; and no one of them was hurt by 

5 another. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken 

by the prophet : Wolves shall feed with lambs ; the 

lion and the ox shall eat straw together. There were 

together two oxen drawing a waggon with provision 

for the journey, and the lions directed them in their 

10 path. 

20. And it came to pass on the third day of their 
journey, while they were walking, that the blessed 
Mary was fatigued by the excessive heat of the sun 
in the desert ; and seeing a palm tree, she said to 

15 Joseph : Let me rest a little under the shade of this 
tree. Joseph therefore made haste, and led her to 
the palm, and made her come down from her beast. 
And as the blessed Mary was sitting there, she looked 
up to the foliage of the palm, and saw it full of fruit, 

20 and said to Joseph : I wish it were possible to get 
some of the fruit of this palm. And Joseph said to 
her : I wonder that thou sayest this, when thou seest 
how high the palm tree is ; and that thou thinkest of 
eating of its fruit. I am thinking more of the want 

25 of water, because the skins are now empty, and we 
have none wherewith to refresh ourselves and our 
cattle. Then the child Jesus, with a joyful counten- 
ance, reposing in the bosom of His mother, said to 
the palm : O tree, bend thy branches, and refresh my 


Apocryphal Writings £*» Pseudo-Matthew. 

mother with thy fruit. And immediately at these Miracle of 
words the palm bent its top down to the very feet of the Palm 
the blessed Mary ; and they gathered from it fruit, q; ree 
with which they were all refreshed. And after they 
had gathered all its fruit, it remained bent down, 5 
waiting the order to rise from Him who had com- 
manded it to stoop. Then Jesus said to it : Raise 
thyself, O palm tree, and be strong, and be the com- 
panion of my trees, which are in the paradise of my 
Father ; and open from thy roots a vein of water 10 
which has been hid in the earth, and let the waters 
flow, so that we may be satisfied from thee. And it 
rose up immediately, and at its root there began to 
come forth a spring of water exceedingly clear and 
cool and sparkling. And when they saw the spring 15 
of water, they rejoiced with great joy, and were 
satisfied, themselves and all their cattle and their 
beasts. Wherefore they gave thanks to God. 

2 1 . And on the day after, when they were setting 
out thence, and in the hour in which they began their 20 
journey, Jesus turned to the palm, and said : This 
privilege I give thee, O palm tree, that one of thy 
branches be carried away by my angels, and planted 
in the paradise of my Father. And this blessing I 
will confer upon thee, that it shall be said of all who 25 
conquer in any contest, You have attained the palm 
of victory. And while He was thus speaking, behold, 
an angel of the Lord appeared, and stood upon the 
palm tree ; and taking oft one of its branches, flew to 


Pseudo-Matthew. +§ New Testament 

The heaven with the branch in his hand. And when they 

Distance o/*saw this, they fell on their faces, and became as it 

the Journey were dead. And Jesus said to them : Why are your 

shortened hearts possessed with fear ? Do you not know that 

5 this palm, which I have caused to be transferred to 
paradise, shall be prepared for all the saints in the 
place of delights, as it has been prepared for us in 
this place of the wilderness ? And they were filled 
with joy ; and being strengthened, they all rose up. 

10 22. After this, while they were going on their 
journey, Joseph said to Jesus : Lord, it is a boiling heat ; 
if it please Thee, let us go by the sea-shore, that we 
may be able to rest in the cities on the coast. Jesus 
said to him : Fear not, Joseph ; I will shorten the way 

is for you, so that what you would have taken thirty 
days to go over, you shall accomplish in this one day. 
And while they were thus speaking, behold, they 
looked forward, and began to see the mountains and 
cities of Egypt. 

30 And rejoicing and exulting, they came into the 
regions of Hermopolis, and entered into a certain city 
of Egypt which is called Sotinen ; and because they 
knew no one there from whom they could ask 
hospitality, they went into a temple which was called 

25 the Capitol of Egypt. And in this temple there had 
been set up three hundred and fifty-five idols, to each 
of which on its own day divine honours and sacred 
rites were paid. For the Egyptians belonging to the 
same city entered the Capitol, in which the priests told 


Apocryphal Writings So* Pseudo- Matthew. 

them how many sacrifices were offered each day, Obeisance 
according to the honour in which the god was held, of the 

23. And it came to pass, when the most blessed Idols 
Mary went into the temple with the little child, that all 

the idols prostrated themselves on the ground, so that 5 
all of them were lying on their faces shattered and 
broken to pieces ; and thus they plainly showed that 
they were nothing. Then was fulfilled that which 
was said by the prophet Isaiah : Behold, the Lord 
will come upon a swift cloud, and will enter Egypt, 10 
and all the handiwork of the Egyptians shall be 
moved at His presence. 

24. Then Affrodosius, that governor of the city, 
when news of this was brought to him, went to the 
temple with all his army. And the priests of the 15 
temple, when they saw Affrodosius with all his army 
coming into the temple, thought that he was making 
haste only to see vengeance taken on those on whose 
account the gods had fallen down. But when he 
came into the temple, and saw all the gods lying 20 
prostrate on their faces, he went up to the blessed 
Mary, who was carrying the Lord in her bosom, and 
adored Him, and said to all his army and all his 
friends : Unless this were the God of our gods, our 
gods would not have fallen on their faces before 25 
Him : nor would they be lying prostrate in His 
presence : wherefore they silently confess that He is 
their Lord. Unless we, therefore, take care to do 
what we have seen our gods doing, we may run the 

E 37 

Nicodemus. «°S New Testament 

The People risk of His anger, and all come to destruction, even 

of Sotinen as it happened to Pharaoh king of the Egyptians, who, 

converted not believing in powers so mighty, was drowned in 

the sea, with all his army. Then all the people of 

s that same city believed in the Lord God through 

Jesus Christ. 

25. After no long time the angel said to Joseph : 
Return to the land of Judah, for they are dead who 
sought the child's life. 

The Gospel of Nicodemus 

[Memorials of our Lord Jesus Christy done in the 
time of Pontius Pilate.) 


10 T ANANIAS, of the propraetor's body-guard, 

being learned in the law, knowing our Lord 

Jesus Christ from the Holy Scriptures, coming to 

Him by faith, and counted worthy of the holy 

baptism, searching also the memorials written at that 

15 time of what was done in the case of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, which the Jews had laid up in the time of 
Pontius Pilate, found these memorials written in 
Hebrew, and by the favour of God have translated 


Apocryphal Writings 5^ Nicodemus. 

them into Greek for the information of all who call Prologue 
upon the name of our Master Jesus Christ, in the of Ananias 
seventeenth year of the reign of our lord Flavius 
Theodosius, and the sixth of Flavius Valentinianus, 
in the ninth indiction. 5 

All ye, therefore, who read and transfer into other 
books, remember me, and pray for me, that God 
may be merciful to me, and pardon my sins which I 
have sinned against Him. 

Peace be to those who read, and to those who *<> 
hear and to their households. Amen. 

— * — 

In the fifteenth year of the government of Tiberius 
Caesar, emperor of the Romans, and Herod being 
king of Galilee, in the nineteenth year of his rule, on 
the eighth day before the Kalends of April, which is 15 
the twenty-fifth of March, in the consulship of Rufus 
and Rubellio, in the fourth year of the two hundred 
and second Olympiad, Joseph Caiaphas being high 
priest of the Jews. 

The account that Nicodemus wrote in Hebrew, 2° 
after the cross and passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
the Saviour God, and left to those that came after 
him, is as follows : — 

1. Having called a council, the high priests and 
scribes Annas and Caiaphas and Semes and Dathaes, 25 
and Gamaliel, Judas, Levi and Nephthalim, Alex- 
ander and Ja'irus, and the rest of the Jews, came to 
Pilate accusing Jesus about many things, saying : We 


Nicodemus. *§ New Testament 

Jesus know this man to be the son of Joseph the carpenter, 

accused by born of Mary ; and he says that he is the Son of 

the High God, and a king ; moreover, he profanes the Sabbath, 

Priests' and wishes to do away with the law of our fathers. 

Council Pilate says : And what are the things which he does, 

to show that he wishes to do away with it ? The 

Jews say : We have a law not to cure any one on 

the Sabbath ; but this man has on the Sabbath cured 

the lame and the crooked, the withered and the 

10 blind and the paralytic, the dumb and the demoniac, 

by evil practices. Pilate says to them : What evil 

practices ? They say to him : He is a magician, 

and by Beelzebub prince of the demons he casts out 

the demons, and all are subject to him. Pilate says 

I5 to them : This is not casting out the demons by an 

unclean spirit, but by the god Esculapius. 

The Jews say to Pilate : We entreat your high- 
ness that he stand at thy tribunal, and be heard. 
And Pilate having called them, says : Tell me how 
30 I, being a procurator, can try a king ? They say to 
him : We do not say that he is a king, but he him- 
self says that he is. And Pilate having called the 
runner, says to him : Let Jesus be brought in with 
respect. And the runner going out, and recognising 
25 Him, adored Him, and took his cloak into his hand, 
and spread it on the ground, and says to Him : My 
lord, walk on this, and come in. for the procurator 
calls thee. And the Jews seeing what the runner 
had done, cried out against Pilate, saying: Why 


Apocryphal Writings S©> Nicodemus. 

hast thou ordered him to come in by a runner, and Adoration 
not by a crier ? for assuredly the runner, when he of the 
saw him, adored him, and spread his doublet on the Runner 
ground, and made him walk like a king. 

And Pilate having called the runner, says to him : 5 
Why hast thou done this, and spread out thy cloak 
upon the earth, and made Jesus walk upon it ? The 
runner says to him : My lord procurator, when thou 
didst send me to Jerusalem to Alexander, I saw him 
sitting upon an ass, and the sons of the Hebrews *> 
held branches in their hands, and shouted ; and others 
spread their clothes under him, saying, Save now, 
thou who art in the highest : blessed is he that 
cometh in the name of the Lord. 

The Jews cry out, and say to the runner : The 15 
sons of the Hebrews shouted in Hebrew ; whence 
then hast thou the Greek ? The runner says to 
them : I asked one of the Jews, and said, What is it 
they are shouting in Hebrew ? And he interpreted 
it for me. Pilate says to them : And what did they 20 
shout in Hebrew ? The Jews say to him : Hosanna 
membrome baruchamma adondi. Pilate says to them : 
And this hosanna, etc., how is it interpreted ? The 
Jews say to him : Save now in the highest ; blessed 
is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. Pilate 25 
says to them : If you bear witness to the words 
spoken by the children, in what has the runner done 
wrong ? And they were silent. And the procura- 
tor says to the runner : Go out, and bring him in 


Nicodemus. *S New Testament 

Adoration what way thou wilt. And the runner going out, did 
of them the same manner as before, and says to Jesus: 
Standards My lord, come in; the procurator calleth thee. 

And Jesus going in, and the standard-bearers 
5 holding their standards, the tops of the standards 
were bent down, and adored Jesus. And the Jews 
seeing the bearing of the standards, how they were 
bent down and adored Jesus, cried out vehemently 
against the standard-bearers. And Pilate says to the 
io Jews : Do you not wonder how the tops of the 
standards were bent down, and adored Jesus I The 
Jews say to Pilate : We saw how the standard- 
bearers bent them down, and adored him. And the 
procurator having called the standard-bearers, says to 
15 them: Why have you done this? They say to 
Pilate : We are Greeks and temple-slaves, and how 
could we adore him ? and assuredly, as we were 
holding them up, the tops bent down of their own 
accord, and adored him. 
ao Pilate says to the rulers of the synagogue and the 
elders of the people : Do you choose for yourselves 
men strong and powerful, and let them hold up the 
standards, and let us see whether they will bend down 
with them. And the elders of the Jews picked up 
2S twelve men powerful and strong, and made them 
hold up the standards six by six ; and they were 
placed in front of the procurator's tribunal. And 
Pilate says to the runner : Take him outside of the 
pnetorium, and bring him in again in whatever way 


Apocry phal Writings && Nicodemus. 

may please thee. And Jesus and the runner went Message 
out of the praetorium. And Pilate, summoning those from 
who had formerly held up the standards, says to them : Pi/ate's 
I have sworn by the health of Caesar, that if the Wife 
standards do not bend down when Jesus comes in, I s 
will cut off your heads. And the procurator ordered 
Jesus to come in the second time. And the runner 
did in the same manner as before, and made many 
entreaties to Jesus to walk on his cloak. And He 
walked on it, and went in. And as He went in, 10 
the standards were again bent down, and adored 

2. And Pilate seeing this, was afraid, and sought to 
go away from the tribunal; but when he was still 
thinking of going away, his wife sent to him, saying : 15 
Have nothing to do with this just man, for many 
things have I suffered on his account this night. 
And Pilate, summoning the Jews, says to them : 
You know that my wife is a worshipper of God, and 
prefers to adhere to the Jewish religion along with you. 20 
They say to him : Yes ; we know. Pilate says to 
them : Behold, my wife has sent to me, saying, Have 
nothing to do with this just man, for many things 
have I suffered on account of him this night. And 
the Jews answering, say unto Pilate : Did we not 25 
tell thee that he was a sorcerer ? behold, he has sent 
a dream to thy wife. 

And Pilate, having summoned Jesus, says to Him : 
What do these witness against thee ? Sayest thou 


Nicodemus. ^ New Testament 

Testimony nothing ? And Jesus said : Unless they had the 

in favour power, they would say nothing ; for everyone has the 

of Jesus power of his own mouth to speak both good and evil. 

They shall see to it. 

s And the elders of the Jews answered, and said to 

Jesus : What shall we see ? first, that thou wast 

born of fornication; secondly, that thy birth in 

Bethlehem was the cause of the murder of the infants ; 

thirdly, that thy father Joseph and thy mother Mary 

10 fled into Egypt because they had no confidence in 

the people. 

Some of the bystanders, pious men of the Jews, 
say : We deny that he was born of fornication ; for 
we know that Joseph espoused Mary, and he was 
is not born of fornication. Pilate says to the Jews who 
said that he was of fornication : This story of yours 
is not true, because they were betrothed, as also these 
fellow-countrymen of yours say. Annas and Caia- 
phas say to Pilate : All the multitude of us cry out 
20 that he was born of fornication, and are not believed ; 
these are proselytes, and his disciples. And Pilate, 
calling Annas and Caiaphas, says to them : What are 
proselytes ? They say to him : They are by birth 
children of the Greeks, and have now become Jews. 
25 And those that said that He was not born of forni- 
cation, viz. — Lazarus, Asterius, Antonius, James, 
Amnes, Zeras, Samuel, Isaac, Phinees, Crispus, 
Agrippas, and Judas — say : We are not proselytes, 
but are children of the Jews, and speak of the truth ; 


Apocryphal Writings §+> Nicodemus. 

for we were present at the betrothal of Joseph and Pi/ate 
Mary. desires fr 

And Pilate, calling these twelve men who said that save Jesus 
He was not born of fornication, says to them : I adjure 
you by the health of Caesar, to tell me whether it be s 
true that you say, that he was not born of fornication. 
They say to Pilate : We have a law against taking 
oaths, because it is a sin ; but they will swear by the 
health of Caesar, that it is not as we have said, and 
we are liable to death. Pilate says to Annas and 10 
Caiaphas : Have you nothing to answer to this ? 
Annas and Caiaphas say to Pilate: These twelve 
are believed when they say that he was not born of 
fornication ; all the multitude of us cry out that he 
was born of fornication, and that he is a sorcerer, and is 
he says that he is the Son of God and a king, and 
we are not believed. 

And Pilate orders all the multitude to go out, 
except the twelve men who said that he was not 
born of fornication, and he ordered Jesus to be 20 
separated from them. And Pilate says to them : 
For what reason do they wish to put him to death ? 
They say to him : They are angry because he cures 
on the Sabbath. Pilate says : For a good work do 
they wish to put him to death ? They say to him : 25 

3. And Pilate, filled with rage, went outside of the 
praetorium, and said to them : I take the sun to 
witness that I find no fault in this man. The Jews 


Nicodemus. ** New Testament 

Pilate answered and said to the procurator : Unless this man 

questions were an evil-doer, we should not have delivered him 

Jesus to thee. And Pilate said, Do you take him, and 

judge him according to your law. The Jews said 

5 to Pilate : It is not lawful for us to put any one to 

death. Pilate said : Has God said that you are not 

to put to death, but that I am ? 

And Pilate went again into the praetorium, and 
spoke to Jesus privately, and said to Him : Art thou 
jo the king of the Jews i Jesus answered Pilate : Dost 
thou say this of thyself, or have others said it to 
thee of me ? Pilate answered Jesus : Am I also a 
Jew ? Thy nation and the chief priests have given 
thee up to me. What hast thou done? Jesus 
15 answered : My kingdom is not of this world 5 for if 
my kingdom were of this world, my servants would 
fight in order that I should not be given up to the 
Jews: but now my kingdom is not from thence. 
Pilate said to Him : Art thou then a king ? Jesus 
20 answered him : Thou sayest that I am a king. 
Because for this have I been born, and have I come, 
in order that every one who is of the truth might 
hear my voice. Pilate says to Him : What is Truth ? 
Jesus says to him : Truth is from heaven. Pilate 
25 says : Is truth not upon earth ? Jesus says to Pilate : 
Thou seest how those who speak the truth are judged 
by those that have the power upon earth. 

4. And leaving Jesus within the prsetorium, Pilate 
went out to the Jews, and said to them : I find no 


Apocryphal Writings S<* Nicodemus. 

fault in him. The Jews say to him : He said, I can Jesus 
destroy this temple, and in three days build it. accused of 
Pilate says : What temple ? The Jews say : The Blasphemy 
one that Solomon built in forty-six years, and this 
man speaks of pulling it down and building it in three 5 
days. Pilate says to them : I am innocent of the 
blood of this just man. See you to it. The Jews 
say : His blood be upon us, and upon our children. 

And Pilate having summoned the elders and priests 
and Levites, said to them privately : Do not act 10 
thus, because no charge that you bring against him 
is worthy of death ; for your charge is about curing 
and Sabbath profanation. The elders and the priests 
and the Levites say : If any one speak evil against 
Caesar, is he worthy of death or not I Pilate says : *5 
He is worthy of death. The Jews say to Pilate : 
If any one speak evil against Caesar, he is worthy of 
death ; but this man has spoken evil against God. 

And the procurator ordered the Jews to go outside 
of the praetorium ; and summoning Jesus, he says to 20 
Him : What shall I do to thee ? Jesus says to 
Pilate : As it has been given to thee. Pilate says : 
How given ? Jesus says : Moses and the prophets 
have proclaimed beforehand of my death and re- 
surrection. And the Jews noticing this, and hearing 25 
it, say to Pilate : What more wilt thou hear of this 
blasphemy ? Pilate says to the Jews : If these 
words be blasphemous, do you take him for the 
blasphemy, and lead him away to your synagogue, 


Nicodemus. +S New Testament 

Advice 0/and judge him according to your law. The Jews 

Nicodemus say to Pilate : Our law bears that a man who wrongs 

his fellow-men is worthy to receive forty save one ; 

but he that blasphemeth God is to be stoned with 

5 stones. 

Pilate says to them : Do you take him, and 
punish him in whatever way you please. The Jews 
say to Pilate : We wish that he be crucified. 
Pilate says : He is not deserving of crucifixion. 

io And the procurator, looking round upon the 
crowds of the Jews standing by, sees many of the 
Jews weeping, and says : All the multitude do not 
wish him to die. The elders of the Jews say : For 
this reason all the multitude of us have come, that he 

15 should die. Pilate says to the Jews : Why should 
he die ? The Jews say : Because he called himself 
Son of God, and King. 

5. And one Nicodemus, a Jew, stood before the 
procurator, and said : I beseech your honour, let me 

20 say a few words. Pilate says : Say on. Nicodemus 
says : I said to the elders and the priests and 
Levites, and to all the multitude of the Jews in the 
synagogue, What do you seek to do with this man ? 
This man does many miracles and strange things, 

25 which no one has done or will do. Let him go, and 
do not wish any evil against him. If the miracles 
which he does are of God, they will stand ; but if 
of man, they will come to nothing. For assuredly 
Moses, being sent by God into Egypt, did many 


Apocryphal Writings §& Nicodemus. 

miracles, which the Lord commanded him to do Testimony 
before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And there were of those 
there Jannes and Jambres, servants of Pharaoh, and Jesus 
they also did not a few of the miracles which Moses healed 
did ; and the Egyptians took them to be gods — this 5 
Jannes and this Jambres. But, since the miracles 
which they did were not of God, both they and 
those who believed in them were destroyed. And 
now release this man, for he is not deserving of 
death. xo 

The Jews say to Nicodemus : Thou hast become 
his disciple, and therefore thou defendest him. 
Nicodemus says to them : Perhaps, too, the pro- 
curator has become his disciple, because he defends 
him. Has the emperor not appointed him to this 15 
place of dignity ? And the Jews were vehemently 
enraged, and gnashed their teeth against Nicodemus. 
Pilate says to them : Why do you gnash your teeth 
against him when you hear the truth ? The Jews 
say to Nicodemus : Mayst thou receive his truth and 20 
his portion. Nicodemus says : Amen, amen ; may 
I receive it, as you have said. 

6. One of the Jews, stepping up, asked leave of the 
procurator to say a word. The procurator says : If 
thou wishest to say anything, say on. And the Jew 25 
said : Thirty-eight years I lay in my bed in great 
agony. And when Jesus came, many demoniacs, 
and many lying ill of various diseases, were cured by 
him* And some young men, taking pity on me, 


Nicodemus, *$ New Testament 

Testimony carried me, bed and all, and took me to him. And 

of those when Jesus saw me, he had compassion on me, and 

Jesus said to me : Take up thy couch and walk. And I 

healed took up my couch, and walked. The Jews say to 

5 Pilate : Ask him on what day it was that he was 

cured. He that had been cured says : On a Sabbath. 

The Jews say : Is not this the very thing that we 

said, that on a Sabbath he cures and casts out 

demons ? 

10 And another Jew stepped up and said : I was born 

blind ; I heard sounds, but saw not a face. And as 

Jesus passed by, I cried out with a loud voice, Pity 

me, O son of David. And he pitied me, and put his 

hands upon my eyes, and I instantly received my 

15 sight. And another Jew stepped up and said : I was 

crooked, and he straightened me with a word. And 

another said : I was a leper, and he cured me with a 


7. And a woman cried out from a distance, and said: 
20 I had an issue of blood, and I touched the hem of 
his garment, and the issue of blood which I had had 
for twelve years was stopped. The Jews say : We 
have a law, that a woman's evidence is not to be 
25 8. And others, a multitude both of men and women, 
cried out saying : This man is a prophet, and the 
demons are subject to him. Pilate says to them who 
said that the demons were subject to him : Why, 
then, were not your teachers also subject to him ? They 


Apocryphal Writings £*» Nicodemus. 

say to Pilate : We do not know. And others said : He Pilate again 
raised Lazarus from the tomb after he had been dead trys to save 
four days. And the procurator trembled, and said to Jesus 
all the multitude of the Jews : Why do you wish to 
pour out innocent blood ? 5 

9. And having summoned Nicodemus and the 
twelve men that said He was not born of fornication, 
he says to them : What shall I do, because there is an 
insurrection among the people ? They say to him : 
We know not ; let them see to it. Again Pilate, xo 
having summoned all the multitude of the Jews, says : 
You know that it is customary, at the feast of un- 
leavened bread, to release one prisoner to you. I have 
one condemned prisoner in the prison, a murderer named 
Barabbas, and this man standing in your presence, 15 
Jesus, in whom I find no fault. Which of them do 
you wish me to release to you ? And they cry out : 
Barabbas. Pilate says : What, then, shall we do to 
Jesus who is called Christ ? The Jews say : Let 
him be crucified. And others said : Thou art no 20 
friend of Caesar's if thou release this man, because he 
called himself Son of God and king. You wish, 
then, this man to be king, and not Caesar ? 

And Pilate, in a rage, says to the Jews : Always 
has your nation been rebellious, and you always speak 25 
against your benefactors. The Jews say : What 
benefactors ? He says to them : Your God led you out 
of the land of Egypt from bitter slavery, and brought 
you safe through the sea as through dry land, and in 


Nicodemus. ^ New Testament 

His Blood the desert fed you with manna, and gave you quails, 

be upon us and quenched your thirst with water from a rock, and 

and our gave you a law ; and in all these things you provoked 

Children your God to anger, and sought a molten calf. And 

5 you exasperated your God, and he sought to slay you. 

And Moses prayed for you, and you were not put to 

death. And now you charge me with hating the 


And rising up from the tribunal, he sought to go 
,o out. And the Jews cry out, and say : We know 
that Caesar is king, and not Jesus. For assuredly 
the Magi brought gifts to him as to a king. And 
when Herod heard from the Magi that a king had 
been born, he sought to slay him; and his father 
15 Joseph, knowing this, took him and his mother, and 
they fled into Egypt. And Herod hearing of it, 
destroyed the children of the Hebrews that had been 
born in Bethlehem. 

And when Pilate heard these words, he was 
20 afraid; and ordering the crowd to keep silence, 
because they were crying oat, he says to them : So 
this is he whom Herod sought ? The Jews say : 
Yes, it is he. And, taking water, Pilate washed his 
hands in the face of the sun, saying : I am innocent 
25 of the blood of this just man ; see you to it. Again 
the Jews cry out : His blood be upon us, and upon 
our children. 

Then Pilate ordered the curtain of the tribunal 
where he was sitting to be drawn, and says to Jesus : 


Apocryphal Writings So* Nicodemus. 

Thy nation has charged thee with being a king. On Crucifixion 
this account I sentence thee, first to be scourged, of Jesus 
according to the enactment of venerable kings, and 
then to be fastened on the cross in the garden where 
thou wast seized. And let Dysmas and Gestas, the 5 
two malefactors, be crucified with thee. 

1 o. And Jesus went forth out of the praetorium, and 
the two malefactors with Him. And when they 
came to the place, they stripped Him of His clothes, 
and girded Him with a towel, and put a crown of 10 
thorns on Him round His head. And they crucified 
Him ; and at the same time also they hung up the 
two malefactors along with Him. And Jesus said : 
Father, forgive them, for they know not what they 
do. And the soldiers parted His clothes among 15 
them ; and the people stood looking at Him. And 
the chief priests, and the rulers with them, mocked 
Him, saying : He saved others ; let him save him- 
self. If he be the Son of God, let him come down 
from the cross. And the soldiers made sport of 20 
Him, coming near and offering Him vinegar mixed 
with gall, and said : Thou art the king of the Jews ; 
save thyself. 

And Pilate, after the sentence, ordered the charge 
made against Him to be inscribed as a superscription 25 
in Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, according to 
what the Jews had said : He is king of the Jews. 

And one of the malefactors hanging up spoke to 
Him, saying : If thou be the Christ, save thyself and 
F 53 

Nicodemus, *9 New Testament 

Portents us. And Dysmas answering, reproved him, saying : 

at the Dost thou not fear God, because thou art in the 

Crucifixion same condemnation i And we indeed justly, for we 

receive the fit punishment of our deeds; but this 

s man has done no evil. And he said to Jesus : 

Remember me, Lord, in Thy kingdom. And Jesus 

said to him : Amen, amen ; I say to thee, To-day 

shalt thou be with me in Paradise. 

1 1 . And it was about the sixth hour, and there 

10 was darkness over the earth until the ninth hour, the 

sun being darkened ; and the curtain of the temple was 

split in the middle. And crying out with a loud 

voice, Jesus said : Father, baddach ephhid ruel, which 

is, interpreted : Into Thy hands I commit my spirit. 

15 And having said this, He gave up the ghost. And 

the centurion, seeing what had happened, glorified 

God, and said : This was a just man. And all the 

crowds that were present at this spectacle, when they 

saw what had happened, beat their breasts and went 

20 away. 

And the centurion reported what had happened to 
the procurator. And when the procurator and his 
wife heard it, they were exceedingly grieved, and 
neither ate nor drank that day. And Pilate sent for 
25 the Jews, and said to them : Have you seen what 
has happened ? And they say : There has been an 
eclipse of the sun in the usual way. 

And His acquaintances were standing at a distance, 
and the women who came with Him from Galilee, 


Apocryphal Writings &► Nicodemus. 

seeing these things. And a man named Joseph, a Joseph 
councillor from the city of Arimathea, who also receives 
waited for the kingdom of God, went to Pilate, and the Body 
begged the body of Jesus. And he took it down, of Jesus 
and wrapped it in clean linen, and placed it in a tomb 5 
hewn out of the rock, in which no one had ever lain. 
12. And the Jews, hearing that Joseph had begged 
the body of Jesus, sought him and the twelve who 
said that Jesus was not born of fornication, and 
Nicodemus, and many others who had stepped up 10 
before Pilate and declared his good works. And 
of all these that were hid, Nicodemus alone was seen 
by them, because he was a ruler of the Jews. And 
Nicodemus says to them : How have you come into 
the synagogue ? The Jews say to him : How hast 15 
thou come into the synagogue ? for thou art a con- 
federate of his, and his portion is with thee in the world 
to come. Nicodemus says : Amen, amen. And 
likewise Joseph also stepped out and said to them : 
Why are you angry against me because I begged the 20 
body of Jesus ? Behold, I have put him in my new 
tomb, wrapping him in clean linen ; and I have 
rolled a stone to the door of the tomb. And you 
have acted not well against the just man, because you 
have not repented of crucifying him, but also have 25 
pierced him with a spear. And the Jews seized 
Joseph, and ordered him to be secured until the first 
day of the week, and said to him : Know that the 
time does not allow us to do anything against thee, 


Nicodemus. *§ New Testament 

Joseph because the Sabbath is dawning ; and know that thou 

imprisoned shalt not be deemed worthy of burial, but we shall 

by the give thy flesh to the birds of the air. Joseph says to 

Sanhedrim them : These are the words of the arrogant Goliath, 

5 who reproached the living God and holy David. 
For God has said by the prophet, Vengeance is mine, 
and I will repay, saith the Lord. And now he that 
is uncircumcised in flesh, but circumcised in heart, 
has taken water, and washed his hands in the face of 

10 the sun, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this 
just man ; see ye to it. And you answered and said 
to Pilate, His blood be upon us, and upon our children. 
And now I am afraid lest the wrath of God come 
upon you, and upon your children, as you have said. 

15 And the Jews, hearing these words, were embittered 
in their souls, and seized Joseph, and locked him into 
a room where there was no window ; and guards 
were stationed at the door, and they sealed the door 
where Joseph was locked in. 

20 And on the Sabbath, the rulers of the synagogue, 
and the priests and the Levites, made a decree that 
all should be found in the synagogue on the first day 
of the week. And rising up early, all the multitude 
in the synagogue consulted by what death they should 

25 slay him. And when the Sanhedrim was sitting, 
they ordered him to be brought with much indignity. 
And having opened the door, they found him not. 
And all the people were surprised, and struck with 
dismay, because they found the seals unbroken, and 


Apocryphal Writings §o Nicodemus. 

because Caiaphas had the key. And they no longer Intelligence 
dared to lay hands upon those who had spoken before received of 
Pilate in Jesus' behalf. the Resur- 

13. And while they were still sitting in the syna- rection 
gogue, and wondering about Joseph, there come some 5 
of the guard whom the Jews had begged of Pilate to 
guard the tomb of Jesus, that His disciples might not 
come and steal Him. And they reported to the rulers 
of the synagogue, and the priests and the Levites, what 
had happened : how there had been a great earth- 10 
quake ; and we saw an angel coming down from 
heaven, and he rolled away the stone from the mouth 
of the tomb, and sat upon it ; and he shone like snow, 
and like lightning. And we were very much afraid, 
and lay like dead men ; and we heard the voice of is 
the angel saying to the women who remained beside 
the tomb, Be not afraid, for I know that you seek 
Jesus who was crucified. He is not here : He is 
risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the 
Lord lay : and go quickly, and tell His disciples ao 
that He is risen from the dead, and is in Galilee. 

The Jews say : To what women did he speak ? 
The men of the guard say : We do not know who 
they were. The Jews say : At what time was this ? 
The men of the guard say : At midnight. The 25 
Jews say : And wherefore did you not lay hold of 
them \ The men of the guard say : We were like 
dead men from fear, not expecting to see the light 
of day, and how could we lay hold of them ? The 


Nicodemus. *>§ New Testament 

The Jews Jews say : As the Lord liveth, we do not believe 

bribe the you. The men of the guard say to the Jews : You 

Soldiers have seen so great miracles in the case of this man, 

and have not believed ; and how can you believe us ? 

5 And assuredly you have done well to swear that the 
Lord liveth, for indeed He does live. Again the 
men of the guard say : We have heard that you 
have locked up the man that begged the body of 
Jesus, and put a seal on the door ; and that you have 

10 opened it, and not found him. Do you then give us 
the man whom you were guarding, and we shall give 
you Jesus. The Jews say : Joseph has gone away 
to his own city. The men of the guard say to the 
Jews : And Jesus has risen, as we heard from the 

15 angel, and is in Galilee. 

And when the Jews heard these words, they were 
very much afraid, and said : We must take care lest 
this story be heard, and all incline to Jesus. And 
the Jews called a council, and paid down a consider- 

20 able sum of money, and gave it to the soldiers, saying : 
Say, while we slept, his disciples came by night and 
stole him ; and if this come to the ears of the pro- 
curator, we shall persuade him, and keep you out of 
trouble. And they took it, and said as they had 

35 been instructed. 

14. And Phinees a priest, and Adas a teacher, and 
Haggai a Levitc,came down from Galilee to Jerusalem, 
and said to the rulers of the synagogue, and the 
priests and the Levites : We saw Jesus and his 


Ap ocryphal Writing s 5^ Nicodemus. 

disciples sitting on the mountain called Mamilch ; and Jesus seen 
he said to his disciples, Go into all the world, and on Mount 
preach to every creature : he that believeth and is Mamilch 
baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not 
shall be condemned. And these signs shall attend 5 
those who have believed : in my name they shall cast 
out demons, speak new tongues, take up serpents; 
and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall by no 
means hurt them ; they shall lay hands on the sick, 
and they shall be well. And while Jesus was 10 
speaking to his disciples, we saw him taken up into 
heaven. m 

The elders and the priests and Levites say : Give 
glory to the God of Israel, and confess to Him 
whether you have heard and seen those things of 15 
which you have given us an account. And those 
who had given the account said : As the Lord liveth, 
the God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, 
we heard these things, and saw him taken up 
into heaven. The elders and the priests and the 20 
Levites say to them : Have you come to give us 
this announcement, or to offer prayer to God ? And 
they say : To offer prayer to God. The elders and 
the chief priests and the Levites say to them : If you 
have come to offer prayer to God, why then have 25 
you told these idle tales in the presence of all the 
people? Says Phinees the priest, and Adas the 
teacher, and Haggai the Levite, to the rulers of the 
synagogues, and the priests and the Levites : If what 

Nicodemus. *$ New Testament 

Perplexity we have said and seen be sinful, behold, we are 

over the before you ; do to us as seems good in your eyes. 

Resur- And they took the law, and made them swear upon 

rection it, not to give any more an account of these matters 

s to any one. And they gave them to eat and drink, 

and sent them out of the city, having given them also 

money, and three men with them ; and they sent 

them away to Galilee. 

And these men having gone into Galilee, the chief 

10 priests, and the rulers of the synagogue, and the 

elders, came together into the synagogue, and locked 

the door, and lamented with a great lamentation, 

saying : Is this a miracle that has happened in Israel ? 

And Annas and Caiaphas said : Why are you so 

15 much moved ? Why do you weep ? Do you not 

know that his disciples have given a sum of gold to 

the guards of the tomb, and have instructed them 

to say that an angel came down and rolled away 

the stone from the door of the tomb? And the 

20 priests and the elders said : Be it that his disciples 

have stolen his body ; how is it that the life has come 

into his body, and that he is going about in Galilee ? 

And they being unable to give an answer to these 

things, said, after great hesitation : It is not lawful 

25 for us to believe the uncircumcised. 

15. And Nicodemus stood up, and stood before 
the Sanhedrim, saying : You say well ; you are not 
ignorant, you people of the Lord, of these men that 
come down from Galilee, that they fear God, and 


Apocryphal Writings §*» Nicodemus. 

are men of substance, haters of covetousness, men of Advice of 
peace ; and they have declared with an oath, We Nicodemus 
saw Jesus upon the mountain Mamilch with his 
disciples, and he taught what we heard from him, 
and we saw him taken up into heaven. And no one s 
asked them in what form he went up. For assuredly, 
as the book of the Holy Scriptures taught us, Helias 
also was taken up into heaven, and Elissaeus cried out 
with a loud voice, and Helias threw his sheepskin 
upon Elissaeus, and Elissaeus threw his sheepskin upon 10 
the Jordan, and crossed, and came into Jericho. 
And the children of the prophets met him, and said, 
O Elissaeus, where is thy master Helias ? And he 
said, He has been taken up into heaven. And they 
said to Elissaeus, Has not a spirit seized him, and 15 
thrown him upon one of the mountains ? But let us 
take our servants with us, and seek him. And they 
persuaded Elissaeus, and he went away with them. 
And they sought him three days, and did not find 
him ; and they knew that he had been taken up. 20 
And now listen to me, and let us send into every 
district of Israel, and see lest perchance Christ has 
been taken up by a spirit, and thrown upon one of 
the mountains. And this proposal pleased all. And 
they sent into every district of Israel, and sought as 
Jesus, and did not find Him ; but they found Joseph 
in Arimathea, and no one dared to lay hands on him. 
And they reported to the elders, and the priests, 
and the Levites : We have gone round to every 


Nicodemus. *$ New Testament 

Joseph of district of Israel, and have not found Jesus ; but 

Arimathea Joseph we have found in Arimathea. And hearing 

found about Joseph, they were glad, and gave glory to the 

God of Israel. And the rulers of the synagogue, 

5 and the priests and the Levites, having held a council 

as to the manner in which they should meet with 

Joseph, took a piece of paper, and wrote to Joseph 

as follows : 

Peace to thee ! We know that we have sinned 
io against God, and against thee ; and we have prayed 
to the God of Israel, that thou shouldst deign to 
come to thy fathers, and to thy children, because we 
have all been grieved. For having opened the door, 
we did not find thee. And we know that we have 
15 counselled evil counsel against thee ; but the Lord 
has defended thee, and the Lord Himself has 
scattered to the winds our counsel against thee, O 
honourable father Joseph. 

And they chose from all Israel seven men, friends 
20 of Joseph, whom also Joseph himself was acquainted 
with; and the rulers of the synagogue, and the 
priests and the Levites, say to them : Take notice : 
if, after receiving our letter, he read it, know that he 
will come with you to us ; but if he do not read it, 
25 know that he is ill-disposed towards us. And having 
saluted him in peace, return to us. And having 
blessed the men, they dismissed them. And the 
men came to Joseph, and did reverence to him, and 
said to him : Peace to thee ! And he said : Peace 


Apocryphal Writings &* Nicodemus. 

to you, and to all the people of Israel ! And they Joseph 
gave him the roll of the letter. And Joseph having returns to 
received it, read the letter and rolled it up, and Jerusalem 
blessed God, and said : Blessed be the Lord God, 
who has delivered Israel, that they should not shed 5 
innocent blood ; and blessed be the Lord, who sent 
out His angel, and covered me under His wings. 
And he set a table for them ; and they ate and 
drank, and slept there. 

And they rose up early, and prayed. And 10 
Joseph saddled his ass, and set out with the men ; 
and they came to the holy city Jerusalem. And all 
the people met Joseph, and cried out : Peace to thee 
in thy coming in ! And he said to all the people : 
Peace to you ! and he kissed them. And the people 15 
prayed with Joseph, and they were astonished at the 
sight of him. And Nicodemus received him into 
his house, and made a great feast, and called Annas 
and Caiaphas, and the elders, and the priests, and the 
Levites to his house. And they rejoiced, eating 20 
and drinking with Joseph ; and after singing hymns, 
each proceeded to his own house. But Joseph 
remained in the house of Nicodemus. 

And on the following day, which was the pre- 
paration, the rulers of the synagogue and the priests 25 
and the Levites went early to the house of Nicode- 
mus ; and Nicodemus met them, and said : Peace to 
you ! And they said : Peace to thee, and to Joseph, 
and to all thy house, and to all the house of Joseph ! 


Nicodemus. *» New Testament 

Ji?j^ And he brought them into his house. And all the 

before the Sanhedrim sat down, and Joseph sat down between 

Sanhedrim Annas and Caiaphas ; and no one dared to say a 

word to him. And Joseph said: Why have you 

5 called me ? And they signalled to Nicodemus to 
speak to Joseph. And Nicodemus, opening his 
mouth, said to Joseph : Father, thou knowest that 
the honourable teachers, and the priests and the 
Levites, seek to learn a word from thee. And 

10 Joseph said: Ask. And Annas and Caiaphas 
having taken the law, made Joseph swear, saying : 
Give glory to the God of Israel, and give Him con- 
fession ; for Achar being made to swear by the 
prophet Jesus, did not forswear himself, but declared 

15 unto him all, and did not hide a word from him. 
Do thou also accordingly not hide from us to the 
extent of a word. And Joseph said : I shall not 
hide from you one word. And they said to him : 
With grief were we grieved because thou didst beg 

20 the body of Jesus, and wrap it in clean linen, and lay 
it in a tomb. And on account of this we secured 
thee in a room where there was no window ; and we 
put locks and seals upon the doors, and guards kept 
watching where thou wast locked in. And on the 
first day of the week we opened, and found thee not, 

25 and were grieved exceedingly ; and astonishment fell 
upon all the people of the Lord until yesterday. 
And now relate to us what has happened to thee. 
And Joseph said : On the preparation, about the 


Apocryphal Writings §g* Nicodemus. 

tenth hour, you locked me up, and I remained all the Joseph 
Sabbath. And at midnight, as I was standing and relates the 
praying, the room where you locked me in was hung Facts of his 
up by the four corners, and I saw a light like lightning Deliver- 
into my eyes. And I was afraid, and fell to the ance 
ground. And some one took me by the hand, and 
removed me from the place where I had fallen ; and 
moisture of water was poured from my head even to 
my feet, and a smell of perfumes came about my 
nostrils. And he wiped my face, and kissed me, and 10 
said to me, Fear not, Joseph ; open thine eyes, and 
see who it is that speaks to thee. And looking up, I 
saw Jesus. And I trembled, and thought it was a 
phantom ; and I said the commandments, and he said 
them with me. Even so you are not ignorant that a 15 
phantom, if it meet anybody, and hear the command- 
ments, takes to flight. And seeing that he said them 
with me, I said to him, Rabbi Helias. And he said 
to me, I am not Helias. And I said to him, Who 
art thou, my lord ? And he said to me, I am Jesus, 20 
whose body thou didst beg from Pilate ; and thou 
didst clothe me with clean linen, and didst put a 
napkin on my face, and didst lay me in thy new 
tomb, and didst roll a great stone to the door of the 
tomb. And I said to him that was speaking to me, 25 
Show me the place where I laid thee. And he 
carried me away, and showed me the place where I 
laid him ; and the linen cloth was lying in it, and the 
napkin for his face. And I knew that it was Jesus. 


Nicodemus. *§ New Testament 

Dread felt And he took me by the hand, and placed me, though 

by the the doors were locked, in the middle of my house, 

Sanhedrim and led me away to my bed, and said to me, Peace 

to thee ! And he kissed me, and said to me, For 

5 forty days go not forth out of thy house ; for, behold, 
I go to my brethren into Galilee. 

1 6. And the rulers of the synagogue, and the priests 
and the Levites, when they heard these words from 
Joseph, became as dead, and fell to the ground, and 

10 fasted until the ninth hour. And Nicodemus, along 
with Joseph, exhorted Annas and Caiaphas, the 
priests and the Levites, saying : Rise up and stand 
upon your feet, and taste bread, and strengthen your 
souls, because to-morrow is the Sabbath of the Lord. 

15 And they rose up, and prayed to God, and ate and 
drank, and departed every man to his own house. ^ 

And on the Sabbath our teachers and the priests 
and Levites sat questioning each other, and saying : 
What is this wrath that has come upon us ? for we 

20 know his father and mother. Levi, a teacher, says : 
I know that his parents fear God, and do not with- 
draw themselves from the prayers, and give the tithes 
thrice a year. And when Jesus was born, his parents 
brought him to this place, and gave sacrifices and 

25 burnt-offerings to God. And when the great teacher 
Symeon took him into his arms, he said, Now Thou 
sendest away Thy servant, Lord, according to Thy 
word, in peace; for mine eyes have seen Thy 
salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face 


Apocryphal Writings $& Nkodemus. 

of all the peoples : a light for the revelation of the Levi 

Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel. And addresses 

Symeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother, the 

I give thee good news about this child. And Mary Sanhedrim 

said, It is well, my lord. And Symeon said to her, 5 

It is well ; behold, he lies for the fall and rising again 

of many in Israel, and for a sign spoken against ; and 

of thee thyself a sword shall go through the soul, 

in order that the reasoning of many hearts may be 

revealed. IO 

They say to the teacher Levi : How knowest thou 
these things ? Levi says to them : Do you not know 
that from him I learnt the law? The Sanhedrim 
say to him : We wish to see thy father. And they 
sent for his father. And they asked him ; and he 15 
said to them : Why have you not believed my son ? 
The blessed and just Symeon himself taught him the 
law. The Sanhedrim say to Rabbi Levi : Is the 
word that you have said trut« ? And he said : It is 
true. And the rulers of the synagogue, and the 20 
priests and the Levites, said to themselves : Come, 
let us send unto Galilee to the three men that came 
and told about his teaching and his taking up, and let 
them tell us how they saw him taken up. And this 
saying pleased all. And they sent away the three 25 
men who had already gone away into Galilee with 
them ; and they say to them : Say to Rabbi Adas, 
and Rabbi Phinees, and Rabbi Haggai ; Peace to 
you, and all who are with you ! A great inquiry 


Nicodemus. *? New Testament 

Adas having taken place in the Sanhedrim, we have been 
Phinees V sent to you to call you to this holy place, Jerusalem. 
Hawai And the men set out into Galilee, and found them 
sent for sitting and considering the law ; and they saluted 
J them in peace. And the men who were in Galilee 
said to those who had come to them : Peace upon 
all Israel ! And they said : Peace to you ! And 
they again said to them : Why have you come ? 
And those who had been sent said : The Sanhedrim 
,o call you to the holy city Jerusalem. And when the 
men heard that they were sought by the Sanhedrim, 
they prayed to God, and reclined with the men, and 
ate and drank, and rose up, and set out in peace to 

Jerusalem. „ , . . 

„ And on the following day the Sanhedrim sat in 
the synagogue, and asked them, saying : Did you 
really see Jesus sitting on the mountain Mamilch 
teaching his eleven disciples, and did you see him 
taken up? And the men answered them, and said : 

90 As we saw him taken up, so also we said. 

Annas says : Take them away from one another, 
and let us see whether their account agrees. And 
they took them away from one another. And hrst 
they call Adas, and say to him : How didst thou see 

* 5 Jesus taken up? Adas says: While he was yet 
sitting on the mountain Mamilch, and teaching his 
disciples, we saw a cloud overshadowing both him 
and his disciples. And the cloud took him up into 
heaven, and his disciples lay upon theit face upon the 

Apocryphal Writings $+ Nicodemus. 

earth. And they call Phinees the priest, and ask Sanhedrim 

him also, saying : How didst thou see Jesus taken examine 

up ? And he spoke in like manner. And they the Three 

again asked Haggai, and he spoke in like manner. 

And the Sanhedrim said : The law of Moses holds : 5 

At the mouth of two or three every word shall be 

established. Buthem, a teacher, says : It is written 

in the law, and Enoch walked with God, and is not, 

because God took him. Jairus, a teacher, said : 

And the death of holy Moses we have heard of, and 10 

have not seen it ; for it is written in the law of the 

Lord, And Moses died from the mouth of the Lord, 

and no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day. 

And Rabbi Levi said : Why did Rabbi Symeon say, 

when he saw Jesus, " Behold, he lies for the fall and 15 

rising again of many in Israel, and for a sign spoken 

against ? ,: And Rabbi Isaac said : It is written in 

the law, Behold, I send my messenger before thy 

face, who shall go before thee to keep thee in every 

good way, because my name has been called upon 20 


Then Annas and Caiaphas said : Rightly have you 
said what is written in the law of Moses, that no one 
saw the death of Enoch, and no one has named the 
death of Moses ; but Jesus was tried before Pilate, 25 
and we saw him receiving blows and spittings on his 
face, and the soldiers put about him a crown of thorns, 
and he was scourged, and received sentence from 
Pilate, and was crucified upon the Cranium, and two 
G 69 

Nicodemus. «•$ New Testament 

Announce- robbers with him; and they gave him to drink 
Znt by vinegar with gall, and Longinus the soldier pierced 
Anna &K* side with a spear; and Joseph our honourable 
Caiaphas father begged his body, and, as he says he is riser » ; 
s and as the three teachers say, We saw him taken up 
into heaven; and Rabbi Levi has given evidence of 
what was said by Rabbi Symeon, and that he said. 
Behold, he lies for the fall [and] rising again ot 
many in Israel, and for a sign spoken against. And 
xo all the teachers said to all' the people of the Lord : 
If this was from the Lord, and is wonderful in your 
eyes, knowing you shall know, O house of Jacob, 
that it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth 
upon a tree. And another scripture teaches : I he 
„ gods which have not made the heaven and the earth 
shall be destroyed. And the priests and the Levites 
said to each other : If his memorial be until the 
Tvearl that is called Jobel, know that it shall endure 
for ever, and he hath raised for himself a new people, 
so Then the rulers of the synagogue, and the priests and 
the Levites, announced to all Israel, saying : Cursed 
is that man who shall worship the work of man s 
hand, and cursed is the man who shall worship the 
creatures more than the Creator. And all the people 
2 < said, Amen, amen. , ., 

And all the people praised the Lord, and said : 
Blessed is the Lord, who hath given rest to His 
people Israel, according to all that He hath spoken ; 
there hath not fallen one word of every good word ot 


Apocryphal Writings $*> Nicodemus. 

His that He spoke to Moses His servant. May the The 
Lord our God be with us, as He was with our Adoration 
fathers : let Him not destroy us. And let Him not by the 
destroy us, that we may incline our hearts to Him, People 
that we may walk in all His ways, that we may keep 5 
his commandments and His judgments which He 
commanded to our fathers. And the Lord shall be 
for a king over all the earth in that day ; and there 
shall be one Lord, and His name one. The Lord 
is our king : He shall save us. There is none like 10 
Thee, O Lord. Great art Thou, O Lord, and 
great is Thy name. By Thy power heal us, O Lord, 
and we shall be healed : save us, O Lord, and we 
shall be saved ; because we are Thy lot and heritage. 
And the Lord will not leave His people, for His 15 
great name's sake ; for the Lord has begun to make 
us into His people. 

And all, having sung praises, went away each man 
to his own house, glorifying God; for His is the 
glory for ever and ever. Amen. 20 


The Gospel of Peter 

Pilate iff TD UT of the Jews no one wasiied his hands > 

the Judges t5 neither Herod nor any of his judges. And 

when they would (not) wash, Pilate arose. And 

then Herod the king commands them to take the 

5 Lord away, saying to them : ; What things soever 
I commanded you to do unto him, do. 

But there stood by Joseph, the friend of Pilate 
and of the Lord, and when he knew*that they were 
about to crucify him, he came to Pilate and begged 

10 the body of the Lord for burial. And Pilate sent 
to Herod and begged his body. And Herod said : 
Brother Pilate, even if no one had asked for him, we 
would have buried him, seeing that indeed the Sabbath 
draws on ; for it is written in the law, that the sun 

15 should not go down upon a slain man. And he 
delivered him to the people before the first day of 
unleavened bread, their feast day. 

But they took the Lord, and pushed him as they 
ran, and said : Let us drag along the Son of God, 

20 seeing we have got him in our power. And they 
put on him a purple robe, and set him on the seat of 
judgment, and said : Judge justly, King of Israel 
And one of them brought a crown of thorns, and 

Apocryphal Writings j#» Peter . 

set it on the head of the Lord. And others who Jesus , 
stood there spat in his face, and others smote him on Mocked & 
the cheeks ; others pierced him with a reed ; and Crucified 
some scourged him, saying : With this honour let us 
honour the Son of God. 

And they brought two malefactors and crucified 
the Lord between them. But he was silent as one 
who experiences no pain. And when they lifted up 
the cross, they wrote upon it : This is the King of 
Israel. And having laid down his garments before 10 
him, they divided them, and cast lots for them. 
But one of those malefactors reproached them, 
saying : We indeed, for the evils that we have 
done, have suffered thus, but this man, who has 
become a Saviour of men, what wrong has he done 15 
unto you? And they were enraged at him, and 
commanded that his legs should not be broken, so 
that he might die in torment. 

And it was now midday, and darkness covered 
the whole of Judea. And they were troubled and 20 
in fear lest the sun bad gone down while he still 
lived, [for] it is written for them, that the sun 
should not go down upon a slain man. And one of 
them said : Give him gall with vinegar to drink ; 
and they mixed it and gave him to drink. And 25 
they fulfilled all things, and filled up the measure of " 
their sins upon their own head. And many went 
about with lamps, and, thinking that it was night, 
stretched themselves down. And the Lord cried 


Peter . +§ New Testament 

Death & out saying : My Power, my Power, thou hast 
Burial forsaken me ! And when he said this, he was taken 


And in that hour the veil of the temple of Jeru- 

5 salem was rent in two parts. And then they drew 
out the nails from the hands of the Lord, and laid 
him on the earth ; and the whole earth did quake, 
and there was great fear. Then shone out the sun, 
and it was found to be the ninth hour. But the 
10 Jews rejoiced, and gave to Joseph his body that he 
might bury it, seeing that he had been a witness of 
all the good deeds he had done. He now took the 
Lord, and washed him, and wrapped him in a linen 
cloth, and brought him into his own tomb, called 

15 the Garden of Joseph. 

When the Jews and the elders and the chief priests 
saw what evil they had done to themselves, they 
began to smite on their breasts and to say : Woe 
unto us because of our sins ; the judgment and the 

2 o end of Jerusalem are come nigh. But I mourned 
with my companions, and, being wounded in mind, 
we concealed ourselves, for we were sought for by 
them as malefactors, and as wishing to set fire to the 
temple. But amid all this we fasted, and sat 

25 mourning and wailing night and day until the 

But the scribes and Pharisees and elders came 
together, when they heard that the whole people 
murmured, and beat upon their breasts, saying : If 


Apocryphal Writings §& Peter. 

at his death these mighty signs have been wrought, 7he 
behold what a righteous man he is. Then were the Sealed 
elders afraid and came to Pilate, beseeching him Sepulchre 
and saying : Give to us soldiers that we may watch 
his sepulchre for three days, lest his disciples come 5 
and steal him away, and the people think that he 
is risen from the dead, and do us evil. And 
Pilate gave to them Petronius the centurion with 
soldiers to guard the tomb, and with them came the 
elders and scribes to the sepulchre, and they with 10 
the centurion and soldiers rolled a great stone, and 
all together, so many as were there, placed it at the 
door of the sepulchre. And they spread seven seals 
upon it, and when they had pitched a tent there, they 
kept watch. But when the morning of the Sabbath 15 
dawned, a multitude from Jerusalem and round about 
came that they might see the sepulchre that was 

But in the night in which the Lord's day dawned, 
while the soldiers kept watch two and two at their 20 
post, a mighty voice sounded in the heaven; and 
they saw the heavens opened and two men descending 
from thence in great glory, and approaching the 
sepulchre. But that stone which had been placed at 
the door of the sepulchre rolled back of itself, and 2 5 
moved aside, and the tomb opened, and both the 
young men went in. When, therefore, those soldiers 
beheld this, they awakened the centurion and the 
elders, — for they also were there to watch, — and 


Peter. *>? New Testament 

The Re- while they were telling what they had seen, they 

surrection behold again coming forth from the tomb three men, 

and the two supporting the one, and a cross following 

them. And the heads of the two reached indeed 

5 unto heaven, but the head of the one who was led by 
them reached far above the heavens. And they 
heard a voice from heaven that said : Hast thou 
preached unto those that sleep ? And an answer 
was heard from the cross : Yea. 

10 Those men therefore considered with one another 
whether they should go and announce these things 
to Pilate. And while they were yet pondering the 
matter, the heavens open again, and a man descends and 
goes into the sepulchre. When the people who were 

15 with the centurion saw this, they hasted during the 
night to Pilate, leaving unprotected the tomb which 
they had been watching, and reported in great terror 
all that they had seen, and said : Verily, he was the 
Son of God. Pilate answered and said : I am pure 

20 of the blood of the Son of God ; but this was de- 
termined upon by yourselves. Thereupon all came 
forward, and entreated and urged him to command 
the centurion and soldiers to say nothing about what 
they had seen. For it is better, said they, to be 
guilty of the greatest sin against God, and not to fall 
into the hands of the people of the Jews and be 
stoned. Then Pilate commanded the centurion and 
the soldiers to say nothing. 

Early in the morning of the Lord's day Mary 



Apocryphal Writings £o» Peter. 

Magdalene, a disciple of the Lord — who, through The 
fear of the Jews, because they were burning with Women at 
rage, had not done at the sepulchre of the Lord what the Tomb 
women are wont to do to the dying and those whom 
they have loved, — took her female friends with her, 5 
and went to the sepulchre, where he had been laid. 
And they feared lest the Jews should see them, and 
said : If on that day on which he was crucified we 
could not bewail and lament him, then let us do this 
even now at his sepulchre. But who will roll away 10 
the stone for us, which was placed at the door of the 
sepulchre, that we may enter in and set ourselves 
down beside him, and do the things that are due ? 
For the stone was great, and we fear lest anyone 
should see us. And if we cannot do it, then let us 15 
at least lay down at the door what we bring in 
memory of him, and weep and smite on our breasts, 
till we come back into our own house. And when 
they came, they found the tomb open, and they drew 
near, and stooped down, and see there a young man 20 
sitting within the tomb, beautiful and clothed in the 
most shining raiment, who said to them : Wherefore 
are ye come ? Whom seek ye ? Not still that cruci- 
fied one ? He is risen and gone hence. But if ye 
believe it not, stoop down and see the place where 25 
he lay, that he is not (here) ; for he is risen and gone 
thither, whence he was sent. Then were the women 
afraid and fled. 

But the last day of unleavened bread had come, 


Paul & Thecla +§ New Testament 

Grief of and many were going away, returning to their homes, 
Disciples as the feast was over. We now, the twelve disciples 
of the Lord, mourned and were grieved, and each 
one, full of grief over what had taken place, departed 
5 to his own home. But I, Simon Peter, and Andrew, 
my brother, took our nets and went out upon the sea, 
and with us was Levi, the son of Alphaeus, whom 
the Lord . . . 

Acts of Paul and Thecla 

Treacherv A S Paul was 2 oin S U P t0 Iconium after the fli 2 ht 

of Delias J\ from Antioch, his fellow-travellers were 

an j Demas and Ermogenes, full of hypocrisy ; and they 

Ermogenes*™* importunate with Paul, as if they loved him. 

But Paul, looking only to the goodness of Christ, did 

them no harm, but loved them exceedingly, so that 

I5 he made the oracles of the Lord sweet to them in the 

teaching both of the birth and the resurrection of the 

Beloved; and he gave them an account, word for 

word, of the great things of Christ, how He had been 

revealed to him. 

20 And a certain man, by name Onesiphorus, hearing 

that Paul had come to Iconium, went out to meet 

him with his children Silas and Zeno, and his wife 


Apocryphal Writings £» Paul & Thecla 

Lectra, in order that he might entertain him ; for Paul 
Titus had informed him what Paul was like in meets 
appearance : for he had not seen him in the flesh, Onesi- 
but only in the spirit. And he went along the road phorus 
to Lystra, and stood waiting for him, and kept 5 
looking at the passers-by according to the description 
of Titus. And he saw Paul coming, a man small in 
size, bald-headed, bandy-legged, well built, with 
eyebrows meeting, rather long-nosed, full of grace. 
For sometimes he seemed like a man, and sometimes IO 
he had the countenance of an angel. And Paul, 
seeing Onesiphorus, smiled ; and Onesiphorus said : 
Hail, O servant of the blessed God ! And he said : 
Grace be with thee and thy house. And Demas 
and Ermogenes were jealous, and showed greater is 
hypocrisy ; so that Demas said : Are not we of the 
blessed God, that thou hast not thus saluted us? 
And Onesiphorus said : I do not see in you the fruit 
of righteousness ; but if such you be, come you also 
into my house and rest yourselves. 

And Paul having gone into the house of Onesi- 
phorus, there was great joy, and bending of knees, 
and breaking of bread, and the word of God about 
self-control and the resurrection ; Paul saying : 
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see 25 
God : blessed are they that have kept the flesh 
chaste, for they shall become a temple of God: 
blessed are they that control themselves, for God 
shall speak with them : blessed are they that have 

Paul & Thecla *S New Testament 

Thecla kept aloof from this world, for they shall be called 
£r st hear s upright: blessed are they that have wives as not 
Paul having them, for they shall receive God for their 
speak portion : blessed are they that have the fear of God, 
5 for they shall become angels of God : blessed are 
they that have kept the baptism, for they shall rest 
beside the Father and the Son : blessed are the 
merciful, for they shall obtain mercy, and shall not 
see the bitter day of judgment : blessed are the 
IO bodies of the virgins, for they shall be well pleasing 
to God, and shall not lose the reward of their 
chastity ; for the word of the Father shall become 
to them a work of salvation against the day of His 
Son, and they shall have rest for ever and ever. 
IS And while Paul was thus speaking in the midst of 
the church in the house of Onesiphorus, a certain 
virgin Thecla, the daughter of Theocleia, betrothed 
to a man (named) Thamyris, sitting at a window 
close by, listened night and day to the discourse of 
20 virginity and prayer, and did not look away from the 
window, but paid earnest heed to the faith, rejoicing 
exceedingly. And when she still saw many women 
going in beside Paul, she also had an eager desire to 
be deemed worthy to stand in the presence of Paul, 
25 and to hear the word of Christ ; for never had she 
seen his figure, but heard his word only. 

And as she did not stand away from the window, 
her mother sends to Thamyris ; and he comes gladly, 
as if already receiving her in marriage. And Theo- 


Apocryphal Writings &>» Paul&Thecla 

cleia said : I have a strange story to tell thee, Appeal of 
Thamyris ; for assuredly for three days and three Thamyris, 
nights Thecla does not rise from the window, Thecla' s 
neither to eat nor to drink ; but looking earnestly as Betrothed 
if upon some pleasant sight, she is so devoted to a 5 
foreigner teaching deceitful and artful discourses, that 
I wonder how a virgin of such modesty is so painfully 
put about. Thamyris, this man will overturn the 
city of the Iconians, and thy Thecla too besides ; 
for all the women and the young men go in beside 10 
him, being taught to fear God and to live in chastity. 
Moreover also my daughter, tied to the window like 
a spider, lays hold of what is said by Paul with a 
strange eagerness and awful emotion ; for the virgin 
looks eagerly at what is said by him, and has been 15 
captivated. But do thou go near and speak to her, 
for she has been betrothed to thee. 

And Thamyris going near, and kissing her, but at 
the same time also being afraid of her overpowering 
emotion, said : Thecla, my betrothed, why dost thou 20 
sit thus ? and what sort of feeling holds thee over- 
powered ? Turn round to thy Thamyris, and be 
ashamed. Moreover also her mother said the same 
things : Why dost thou sit thus looking down, my 
child, and answering nothing, but like a mad woman ! 25 
And they wept fearfully, Thamyris indeed for the loss 
of a wife, and Theocleia of a child, and the maid- 
servants of a mistress : there was accordingly much 
confusion in the house of mourning. And while these 


Paul&Thecla ^5 New Testament 

Thamyris things were thus going on, Thecla did not turn round, 

bribes but kept attending earnestly to the word of Paul. 
D etnas £ff And Thamyris starting up, went forth into the 
Ermogenes street, and kept watching those going in to him and 

5 coming out. And he saw two men bitterly contend- 
ing with each other ; and he said : Men, tell me 
who this is among you, leading astray the souls of 
young men, and deceiving virgins, so that they do 
not marry, but remain as they are. I promise, 

10 therefore, to give you money enough if you tell me 
about him ; for I am the first man of the city. And 
Demas and Ermogenes said to him : Who this is, 
indeed, we do not know ; but he deprives young 
men of wives, and maidens of husbands, saying, 

15 There is for you a resurrection in no other way, 
unless you remain chaste, and pollute not the flesh, 
but keep it chaste. And Thamyris said to them : 
Come into my house, and rest yourselves. And 
they went to a sumptuous dinner, and much wine, 

20 and great wealth, and a splendid table ; and Thamyris 
made them drink, from his love to Thecla, and his 
wish to get her as his wife. And Thamyris said 
during the dinner : Ye men, what is his teaching, 
tell me, that I also may know ; for I am no little 

25 distressed about Thecla, because she thus loves the 
stranger, and I am prevented from marrying. 

Demas and Ermogenes said : Bring him before 
the governor Castelios on the charge of persuading 
the multitudes to embrace the new teaching of the 


Apocryphal Writings fa Paul & Thecla 

Christians, and he will speedily destroy him, and Thamyris 
thou shalt have Thecla as thy wife. And we shall asks aid 
teach thee that the resurrection of which this man from the 
speaks has taken place, because it has already taken Proconsul 
place in the children which we have ; and we rose 5 
again when we came to the knowledge of the true 

And Thamyris, hearing these things, being filled 
with anger and rage, rising up early, went to the 
house of Onesiphorus with archons and public officers, 10 
and a great crowd with batons, saying : Thou hast 
corrupted the city of the Iconians, and her that was 
betrothed to me, so that she will not have me : let us 
go to the governor Castelios. And all the multitude 
said : Away with the magician ; for he has corrupted 15 
all our wives, and the multitudes have been persuaded 
(to change their opinions). 

And Thamyris, standing before the tribunal, said 
with a great shout : O proconsul, this man, who he 
is we know not, who makes virgins averse to marriage ; 20 
let him say before thee on what account he teaches 
these things. And Demas and Ermogenes said to 
Thamyris : Say that he is a Christian, and thus thou 
wilt do away with him. But the proconsul stayed 
his intention, and called Paul, saying : Who art thou, 25 
and what dost thou teach ? for they bring no small 
charges against thee. And Paul lifted up his voice, 
saying : Since I am this day examined as to what I 
teach, listen, O proconsul : A living God, a God of 


Paul & Thecla *$ New Testament 

Paul retributions, a jealous God, a God in need of nothing, 
defends consulting for the salvation of men, has sent me that 
himself 1 may reclaim them from corruption and uncleanness, 
and from all pleasure, and from death, that they may 
5 not sin. Wherefore God sent His own Son, whom 
I preach, and in whom I teach men to rest their hope, 
who alone has had compassion upon a world led astray, 
that they may be no longer under judgment, O pro- 
consul, but may have faith, and the fear of God, and 

10 the knowledge of holiness, and the love of truth. If, 
therefore, I teach what has been revealed to me by 
God, wherein do I do wrong ? And the proconsul 
having heard, ordered Paul to be bound, and sent to 
prison, until, said he, I, being at leisure, shall hear 

is him more attentively. 

And Thecla by night having taken off her bracelets, 
gave them to the gatekeeper ; and the door having 
been opened to her, she went into the prison ; and 
having given the jailor a silver mirror, she went in 

20 beside Paul, and, sitting at his feet, she heard the 
great things of God. And Paul was afraid of no- 
thing, but ordered his life in the confidence of God. 
And her faith also was increased, and she kissed his 

25 And when Thecla was sought for by her friends, 
and Thamyris, as if she had been lost, was running 
up and down the streets, one of the gatekeeper's 
fellow-slaves informed him that she had gone out by 
night. And having gone out, they examined the 


Apocryphal Writings ^ Paul&Thecla 

gatekeeper ; and he said to them : She has gone to Thecla 
the foreigner into the prison. And having gone, they follows 
found her, as it were, enchained by affection. And Paul to 
having gone forth thence, they drew the multitudes Prison 
together, and informed the governor of the circum- 5 
stance. And he ordered Paul to be brought to the 
tribunal ; but Thecla was wallowing on the ground 
in the place where he sat and taught her in the 
prison ; and he ordered her too to be brought to the 
tribunal. And she came, exulting with joy. And 10 
the crowd, when Paul had been brought, vehemently 
cried out : He is a magician ! away with him ! 
But the proconsul gladly heard Paul upon the holy 
works of Christ. And having called a counsel, he 
summoned Thecla, and said to her : Why dost thou r S 
not obey Thamyris, according to the law of the 
Icomans ? But she stood looking earnestly at Paul. 
And when she gave no answer, her mother cried out, 
saying : Burn the wicked [wretch] ; burn in the 
midst of the theatre her that will not marry, in order 20 
that all the women that have been taught by this man 
may be afraid. 

And the governor was greatly moved ; and having 
scourged Paul, he cast him out of the city, and 
condemned Thecla to be burned. And immediately 25 
the governor went away to the theatre, and all the 
crowd went forth to the spectacle of Thecla. But as 
a Iamb m the wilderness looks round for the shepherd 
so she kept searching for Paul. And having looked 

Paul & Thecla ^5 New Testament 

Thecla upon the crowd, she saw the Lord sitting in the 

saved from likeness of Paul, and said : As I am unable to endure 

being my lot, Paul has come to see me. And she gazed 

burned upon him with great earnestness, and he went up 

5 into heaven. But the maid-servants and virgins 
brought the faggots, in order that Thecla might be 
burned. And when she came in naked, the governor 
wept, and wondered at the power that was in her. 
And the public executioners arranged the faggots for 

10 her to go up on the pile. And she, having made the 
sign of the cross, went up on the faggots; and 
they lighted them. And though a great fire was 
blazing, it did not touch her ; for God, having com- 
passion upon her, made an underground rumbling, 

15 and a cloud overshadowed them from above, full of 

water and hail ; and all that was in the cavity of it 

was poured out, so that many were in danger of 

death. And the fire was put out, and Thecla saved. 

And Paul was fasting with Onesiphorus and his 

20 wife, and his children, in a new tomb, as they were 
going from Iconium to Daphne. And when many 
days were past, the fasting children said to Paul : 
We are hungry, and we cannot buy loaves ; for 
Onesiphorus had left the things of the world, and 

25 followed Paul, with all his house. And Paul, 
having taken off his cloak, said : Go, my child, buy 
more loaves, and bring them. And when the child 
was buying, he saw Thecla their neighbour, and was 
astonished, and said : Thecla, whither art thou going ? 


Apocryphal Writings 5o» Paul & Thecla 

And she said : I have been saved from the fire, and Thecla 

am following Paul. And the boy said : Come, I discovers 

shall take thee to him ; for he is distressed about Paul 

thee, and is praying six days. And she stood beside 

the tomb where Paul was with bended knees, and 5 

praying, and saying : O Saviour Christ, let not the 

fire touch Thecla, but stand by her, for she is Thine. 

And she, standing behind him, cried out : O Father, 

who hast made the heaven and the earth, the Father 

of Thy holy Son, I bless Thee that Thou hast 10 

saved me that I may see Paul. And Paul, rising up, 

saw her, and said : O God, that knowest the heart, 

the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, I bless Thee 

that^ Thou, having heard me, hast done quickly what 

I wished. 

And they had Rve loaves, and herbs, and water ; 
and they rejoiced in the holy works of Christ. And 
Thecla said to Paul : I shall cut my hair, and follow 
thee whithersoever thou mayst go. And he said : It 
is a shameless age, and thou art beautiful. I am 20 
afraid lest another temptation come upon thee worse 
than the first, and that thou withstand it not, but be 
cowardly. And Thecla said : Only give me the 
seal in Christ, and temptation shall not touch me. 
And Paul said : Thecla, wait with patience, and thou 25 
shalt receive the water. 

And Paul sent away Onesiphorus and all his house 
to Iconium ; and thus, having taken Thecla, he went 
into Antioch. And as they were going in, a certain 


1 5 

Paul&Thecla ^ New Testa ment 

Thecla Syriarch, Alexander by name, seeing Thecla, became 

condemned enamoured of her, and tried to gain over Paul by 

to the Wild gifts and presents. But Paul said : I know not the 

Beasts woman whom thou speakest of, nor is she mine. 

5 But he, being of great power, himself embraced her 
in the street. But she would not endure it, but looked 
about for Paul. And she cried out bitterly, saying : 
Do not force the stranger ; do not force the servant 
of God. I am one of the chief persons of the 

10 Iconians ; and because I would not have Thamyris, 
I have been cast out of the city. And taking hold 
of Alexander, she tore his cloak, and pulled off his 
crown, and made him a laughing-stock. And he, 
at the same time loving her, and at the same time 

15 ashamed of what had happened, led her before the 
governor ; and when she had confessed that she had 
done these things, he condemned her to the wild 
beasts. And the women were struck with astonish- 
ment, and cried out beside the tribunal : Evil judg- 

aoment! impious judgment! And she asked the 
governor, that, said she, I may remain pure until I 
shall fight with the wild beasts. And a certain 
Tryphsena, whose daughter was dead, took her into 
keeping, and had her for a consolation. 

25 And when the beasts were exhibited, they bound 
her to a fierce lioness ; and Tryphaena accompanied 
her. But the lioness, with Thecla sitting upon her, 
licked her feet ; and all the multitude was astonished. 
And the charge on her inscription was : Sacrilegious. 

Apocryphal Writings S** Paul&Thecla 

And the women cried out from above : An impious Tryphana 
sentence has been passed in this city ! And after the adopts her 
exhibition, Tryphaena again receives her. For her 
daughter Falconilla had died, and said to her in a 
dream : Mother, thou shalt have this stranger Thecla 5 
in my place, in order that she may pray concerning 
me, and that I may be transferred to the place of the 

And when, after the exhibition, Tryphaena received 
her, at the same time indeed she grieved that she had 10 
to fight with the wild beasts on the day following ; 
and at the same time, loving her as much as her 
daughter Falconilla, she said : My second child 
Thecla, come and pray for my child, that she may 
live for ever ; for this I saw in my sleep. And she, is 
nothing hesitating, lifted up her voice, and said : God 
most high, grant to this woman according to her 
wish, that her daughter Falconilla may live for ever. 
And when Thecla had thus spoken, Tryphaena 
lamented, considering so much beauty thrown to the 20 
wild beasts. 

And when it was dawn, Alexander came to take 
her, for it was he that gave the hunt, saying : The 
governor is sitting, and the crowd is in uproar against 
us. Allow me to take away her that is to fight with 25 
the wild beasts. And Tryphaena cried aloud, so that 
he even fled, saying : A second mourning for my 
Falconilla has come upon my house, and there is no 
one to help; neither child, for she is dead, nor 


Paul&Thecla ^ New Testament 

Thecla kinsman, for I am a widow. God of Thecla, help 
defended hex ! 

by a And immediately the governor sends an order that 
Lioness Thecla should be brought. And Tryphasna, taking 

s her by the hand, said : My daughter Falconilla, 
indeed, I took away to the tomb ; and thee, Thecla, 
I am taking to the wild-beast fight. And Thecla 
wept bitterly, saying : O Lord, the God in whom I 
believe, to whom I have fled for refuge, who de- 

10 liveredst me from the fire, do thou grant a recom- 
pense to Tryphaena, who has had compassion on Thy 
servant, and because she has kept me pure. Then a 
tumult arose, and a cry of the people, and the women 
sitting together, the one saying : Away with the 

15 sacrilegious person ! the others saying : Let the 
city be raised against this wickedness. Take 
off all of us, O proconsul ! Cruel sight ! evil 
sentence ! 

And Thecla, having been taken out of the hand of 

20 Tryphaena, was stripped, and received a girdle, and 
was thrown into the arena, and lions and bears and a 
fierce lioness were let loose upon her ; and the lioness 
having run up to her feet, lay down ; and the multi- 
tude of the women cried aloud. And a bear ran upon 

25 her ; but the lioness, meeting the bear, tore her to 
pieces. And again a lion that had been trained 
against men, which belonged to Alexander, ran upon 
her; and she (the lioness), encountering the lion, 
was killed along with him. And the women made 


Apocryphal Writings §& Paul&Thecla 

great lamentation, since also the lioness, her protector, Thecla's 
was dead. Self- 

Then they sent in many wild beasts, she standing Baptism 
and stretching forth her hands, and praying. And 
when she had finished her prayer, she turned and saw 5 
a ditch full of water, and said : Now it is time to 
wash myself. And she threw herself in, saying : 
In the name of Jesus Christ I am baptized on my 
last day. And the women seeing, and the multitude, 
wept, saying : Do not throw thyself into the water ; 10 
so that also the governor shed tears, because the seals 
were going to devour such beauty. She then threw 
herself (in) in the name of Jesus Christ ; but the 
seals having seen the glare of the fire of lightning, 
floated about dead. And there was round her, as she 15 
was naked, a cloud of fire ; so that neither could the 
wild beasts touch her, nor could she be seen naked. 

And the women, when other wild beasts were being 
thrown in, wailed. And some threw sweet-smelling 
herbs, others nard, others cassia, others amomum, so 20 
that there was abundance of perfumes. And all the 
wild beasts that had been thrown in, as if they had 
been withheld by sleep, did not touch her ; so that 
Alexander said to the governor : I have bulls ex- 
ceedingly terrible ; let us bind to them her that is to 25 
fight with the beasts. And the governor, looking 
gloomy, turned, and said : Do what thou wilt. 
And they bound her by the feet between them, and 
put red-hot irons under the privy parts of the bulls, 


Paul&Thecla ^ New Testament 

Thecla so that they, being rendered more furious, might kill 
saved from her. They rushed about, therefore ; but the burning 
Wild Bulls flame consumed the ropes, and she was as if she had 
not been bound. But Tryphaena fainted standing 
5 beside the arena, so that the crowd said : Queen 
Tryphaena is dead. And the governor put a stop to 
the games, and the city was in dismay. And Alex- 
ander entreated the governor, saying : Have mercy 
both on me and the city, and release this woman. 
10 For if Caesar hear of these things, he will speedily 
destroy the city also along with us, because his kins- 
woman Queen Tryphaena has died beside the abaci. 

And the governor summoned Thecla out of the 

midst of the wild beasts, and said to her : Who art 

15 thou ? and what is there about thee, that not one of 

the wild beasts touches thee ? And she said : I 

indeed am a servant of the living God ; and as to 

what there is about me, I have believed in the Son 

of God, in whom He is well pleased ; wherefore not 

20 one of the beasts has touched me. For He alone is 

the end of salvation, and the basis of immortal life ; 

for He is a refuge to the tempest-tossed, a solace to 

the afflicted, a shelter to the despairing ; and, once 

for all, whoever shall not believe on Him, shall not 

25 live for ever. 

And the governor having heard this, ordered her 
garments to be brought, and to be put on. And 
Thecla said : He that clothed me naked among the 

wild beasts, will in the day of judgment clothe thee 


Apocryphal Writings §& Paul&Thecla 

with salvation. And taking the garments she put Thecla 
them on. The governor therefore immediately issued released, 
an edict, saying : I release to you the God-fearing seeks for 
Thecla, the servant of God. And the women shouted Paul 
aloud, and with one mouth returned thanks to God, 5 
saying : There is one God, (the God) of Thecla ; 
so that the foundations of the theatre were shaken by 
their voice. And Tryphaena having received the 
good news, went to meet the holy Thecla, and said : 
Now I believe that the dead are raised ; now I 10 
believe that my child lives. Come within, and I 
shall assign to thee all that is mine. She therefore 
went in along with her, and rested eight days, having 
instructed her in the word of God, so that most even 
of the maid-servants believed. And there was great 15 
joy in the house. 

And Thecla kept seeking Paul ; and it was told 
her that he was in Myra of Lycia. And taking 
young men and maidens, she girded herself; and 
having sewed the tunic so as to make a man's cloak, 20 
she came to Myra, and found Paul speaking the word 
of God. And Paul was astonished at seeing her, 
and the crowd with her, thinking that some new 
trial was coming upon her. And when she saw him, 
she said : I have received the baptism, Paul ; for He 25 
that wrought along with thee for the gospel has 
wrought in me also for baptism. And Paul, taking 
her, led her to the house of Hermaeus, and hears 
everything from her, so that those that heard greatly 


Paul & Thecla *$ New Testament 

Theclas wondered, and were comforted, and prayed oyer 

Mission to Tryphaena. And she rose up, and said : I am going 

her own to Iconium. And Paul said : Go, and teach the 

City word of God. And Tryphaena sent her much 

5 clothing and gold, so that she left to Paul many 

things for the service of the poor. 

And she went to Iconium. And she goes into the 
house of Onesiphorus, and fell upon the pavement 
where Paul used to sit and teach her, and wept, 
10 saying : God of myself and of this house, where 
Thou didst make the light to shine upon me, O 
Christ Jesus, the Son of the living God, my help in 
the fire, my help among the wild beasts, Thou art 
glorified for ever. Amen. And she found Thamyris 
15 dead, but her mother alive. And having sent for her 
mother, she said : Theocleia, my mother, canst thou 
believe that the Lord liveth in the heavens ? For 
whether thou desirest wealth, God gives it to thee 
through me ; or thy child, I am standing beside thee. 
20 And having thus testified, she departed to Seleucia, 
and dwelt in a cave seventy-two years, living upon 
herbs and water. And she enlightened many by the 
word of God. 

And certain men of the city, being Greeks by 
25 religion, and physicians by profession, sent to her 
insolent young men to destroy her. For they said : 
She is a virgin, and serves Artemis, and from this she 
has virtue in healing. And by the providence of God 
she entered into the rock alive, and went under 


Apocryphal Writings fo» Paul&Thecla 

ground. And she departed to Rome to see Paul, Death of 
and found that he had fallen asleep. And after Thecla 
staying there no long time, she rested in a glorious 
sleep ; and she is buried about two or three stadia 
from the tomb of her master Paul. 5 

She was cast, then, into the fire when seventeen 
years old, and among the wild beasts when eighteen. 
And she was an ascetic in the cave, as has been said, 
seventy-two years, so that all the years of her life 
were ninety. And having accomplished many cures, 10 
she rests in the place of the saints, having fallen asleep 
on the twenty-fourth of the month of September in 
Christ Jesus our Lord, to whom be glory and 
strength for ever and ever. Amen. 

— * — 

Instead of the two last sections, the ms. which Dr 15 
Grabe used has the following : — 

And a cloud of light guided her. And having 
come into Seleucia, she went forth outside of the 
city one stadium. And she was afraid of them also, 
for they worshipped idols. And it guided her to the 20 
mountain called Calamon or Rhodeon ; and having 
there found a cave, she went into it. And she was 
there many years, and underwent many and grievous 
trials by the devil, and bore them nobly, being 
assisted by Christ. And some of the well-born 25 
women, having learned about the virgin Thecla, went 
to her, and learned the oracles of God. And many 
of them bade adieu to the world, and lived an ascetic 


Paul&Thecla ^ New Testament 

Thecla life with her. And a good report was spread every- 

heals the where concerning her, and cures were done by her. 

Sick All the city, therefore, and country round, having 

known this, brought their sick to the mountain ; and 

5 before they came near the door they were speedily 
released from whatever disease they were afflicted by ; 
and the unclean spirits went out shrieking, and all 
received their own in health, glorifying God, who 
had given such grace to the virgin Thecla. The 

10 physicians, therefore, of the city of the Seleucians 
were thought nothing of, having lost their trade, and 
no one any longer had regard to them; and being 
filled with envy and hatred, they plotted against 
the servant of Christ, what they should do to her. 

15 The devil then suggests to them a wicked device ; 
and one day, being assembled, and having taken 
counsel, they consult with each other, saying: 
This virgin is a priestess of the great goddess 
Artemis ; and if she ask anything of her, she hears 

20 her as being a virgin, and all the gods love her. 
Come, then, let us take men of disorderly lives, and 
make them drunk with much wine, and let us give 
them much gold, and say to them, If you can corrupt 
and defile her, we shall give you even more money. 

25 The physicians therefore said to themselves, that if 
they should be able to defile her, neither the gods 
nor Artemis would listen to her in the case of the 
sick. They therefore did so. And the wicked 
men, having gone to the mountain, and rushed upon 


Apocryphal Writings So> Paul&Thecla 

the cave like lions, knocked at the door. And the Another 
holy martyr Thecla opened, emboldened by the God Account of 
in whom she believed ; for she knew of their plot Thecla! s 
beforehand. And she says to them : What do you Death 
want, my children ? And they said : Is there one 5 
here called Thecla ? And she said : What do you 
want with her ? They say to her : we want to sleep 
with her. The blessed Thecla says to them : I am 
a humble old woman, but the servant of my Lord 
Jesus Christ ; and even though you want to do ™ 
something to me out of place, you cannot. They 
say to her : It is impossible for us not to do to thee 
what we want. And having said this, they laid fast 
hold of her, and wished to insult her. And she says 
to them with mildness : Wait, my children, that you 15 
may see the glory of the Lord. And being laid hold 
of by them, she looked up into heaven, and said : 
God, terrible and incomparable, and glorious to 
Thine adversaries, who didst deliver me out of the 
fire, who didst not give me up to Thamyris, who 20 
didst not give me up to Alexander, who didst deliver 
me from the wild beasts, who didst save me in the 
abyss, who hast everywhere worked with me, and 
glorified Thy name in me, now also deliver me from 
these lawless men, and let me not insult my virginity, 25 
which through Thy name I have preserved till 
now, because I love Thee, and desire Thee, and 
adore Thee, the Father, and the Son, and the 
Holy Ghost for ever. Amen. And there came a 


Paul & Thecla ^Apocryphal Writings 

Another voice out of the heaven, saying : Fear not, Thecla, 

Account of my true servant, for I am with thee. Look and see 

Thecla s where an opening has been made before thee, for 

Death there shall be for thee an everlasting house, and 

5 there thou shalt obtain shelter. And the blessed 

Thecla regarding it, saw the rock opened as far as to 

allow a man to enter, and did according to what had 

been said to her : and nobly fleeing from the lawless 

ones, entered into the rock ; and the rock was 

10 straightway shut together, so that not even a joining 

appeared. And they, beholding the extraordinary 

wonder, became as it were distracted ; and they were 

not able to detain the servant of God, but only caught 

hold of her veil, and were able to tear off a certain 

15 part ; and that by the permission of God for the 

faith of those seeing the venerable place, and for a 

blessing in the generations afterwards to those that 

believe in our Lord Jesus Christ out of a pure heart. 

Thus, then, suffered the first martyr of God, and 

20 apostle, and virgin, Thecla, who came from Iconium 

at eighteen years old ; and with the journeying, and 

the going round, and the retirement in the mountain, 

she lived other seventy-two years. And when the 

Lord took her, she was ninety years old. And thus 

25 is her consummation. And her holy commemoration 

is on the twenty-fourth of the month of September, 

to the glory of the Father, and the Son, and the 

Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to ages of ages. 



The Falling Asleep of Mary 

( The Account of St, John the Theologian of the Falling 
Asleep of the Holy Mother of God.) 

AS the all-holy glorious mother of God and ever- Mary's 
virgin Mary, as was her wont, was going to Visit to 
the holy tomb of our Lord to burn incense, and the 
bending her holy knees, she was importunate Sepulchre 
that Christ our God who had been born of her 5 
should return to her. And the Jews, seeing her 
lingering by the divine sepulchre, came to the chief 
priests, saying : Mary goes every day to the tomb. 
And the chief priests, having summoned the guards 
set by them not to allow any one to pray at the holy 10 
sepulchre, inquired about her, whether in truth it 
were so. And the guards answered and said that 
they had seen no such thing, God having not allowed 
them to see her when there,, And on one of the 
days, it being the preparation, the holy Mary, as was 15 
her wont, came to the sepulchre ; and while she was 
praying, it came to pass that the heavens were 
opened, and the archangel Gabriel came down to her, 
and said : Hail, thou that didst bring forth Christ 
our God ! Thy prayer having come through to the 20 


Falling Asleep *•$ New Testament 

Mary's heavens to Him who was born of thee, has been 
Prayer accepted ; and from this time, according to thy 
for the request, thou having left the world, shalt go to the 
Coming heavenly places to thy Son, into the true and ever- 

of the lasting life. 

Apostles And having heard this from the holy archangel, she 

returned to holy Bethlehem, having along with her 

three virgins who ministered unto her. And after 

having rested a short time, she sat up and said to the 

10 virgins : Bring me a censer, that I may pray. And 

they brought it, as they had been commanded. And 

she prayed, saying : My Lord Jesus Christ, who 

didst deign through Thy supreme goodness to be 

born of me, hear my voice, and send me Thy apostle 

15 John, in order that, seeing him, I may partake of joy ; 

and send me also the rest of Thy apostles, both those 

who have already gone to Thee, and those in the 

world that now is, in whatever country they may be, 

through Thy holy commandment, in order that, 

20 having beheld them, I may bless Thy name much to 

be praised ; for I am confident that Thou nearest 

Thy servant in everything. 

And while she was praying, I John came, the 
Holy Spirit having snatched me up by a cloud from 
25 Ephesus, and set me in the place where the mother 
of my Lord was lying. And having gone in beside 
her, and glorified Him who had been born of her, I 
said : Hail, mother of my Lord, who didst bring 
forth Christ our God, rejoice that in great glory thou 

Apocryphal Writings §&> of Mary. 

art going out of this life. And the holy mother of Arrival 
God glorified God, because I John had come to her, of John 
remembering the voice of the Lord, saying : Behold 
Thy mother, and, Behold thy son. And the 
three virgins came and worshipped. And the 5 
holy mother of God says to me : Pray, and 
cast incense. And I prayed thus : Lord Jesus 
Christ, who hast done wonderful things, now also 
do wonderful things before her who brought Thee 
forth ; and let Thy mother depart from this life ; 10 
and let those who crucified Thee, and who have not 
believed in Thee, be confounded. And after I had 
ended the prayer, holy Mary said to me : Bring me 
the censer. And having cast incense, she said, 
Glory to Thee, my God and my Lord, because 15 
there has been fulfilled in me whatsoever Thou didst 
promise to me before Thou didst ascend into the 
heavens, that when I should depart from this world 
Thou wouldst come to me, and the multitude of 
Thine angels, with glory. And I John say to her : 20 
Jesus Christ our Lord and our God is coming, and 
thou seest Him, as He promised to thee. And the 
holy mother of God answered and said to me : The 
Jews have sworn that after I have died they will 
burn my body. And I answered and said to her : 25 
Thy holy and precious body will by no means see 
corruption. And she answered and said to me : 
Bring a censer, and cast incense, and pray. And 
there came a voice out of the heavens saying the 

Falling Asleep «•? New Testament 

The other Amen. And I John heard this voice ; and the 
Abostles Holy Spirit said to me : John, hast thou heard this 
appear voice that spoke in the heaven after the prayer was 
ended ? And I answered and said : Yes, I heard. 
5 And the Holy Spirit said to me : This voice which 
thou didst hear denotes that the appearance oi thy 
brethren the apostles is at hand, and of the holy 
powers that they are coming hither to-day. 
And at this I John prayed. 
to And the Holy Spirit said to the apostles : Let 
all of you together, having come by the clouds from 
the ends of the world, be assembled to holy 
Bethlehem by a whirlwind, on account of the 
mother of our Lord Jesus Christ ; Peter from Rome, 
x 5 Paul from Tiberia, Thomas from Hither India, 
James from Jerusalem. Andrew, Peter s brother, 
and Philip, Luke, and Simeon the Canansean, and 
Thaddjeus who had fallen asleep, were raised by the 
Holy Spirit out of their tombs; to whom the 
2 oHoly Spirit said: Do not think that it is now the 
resurrection ; but on this account you have risen out ot 
your tombs, that you may go to give greeting to the 
honour and wonder-working of the mother of our Lord 
and Saviour Jesus Christ, because the day of her 
„ departure is at hand, of her going up into the heavens. 
And Mark likewise coming round, was present from 
Alexandria; he also with the rest, as has been said 
before, from each country. And Peter being lifted up 
by a cloud, stood between heaven and earth, the Holy 

Apocryphal Writings fa of Mary. 

Spirit keeping him steady. And at the same time, the John 
rest of the apostles also, having been snatched up in relates his 
clouds, were found along with Peter. And thus by Experience 
the Holy Spirit, as has been said, they all came 
together. 5 

And having gone in beside the mother of our Lord 
and God, and having adored, we said : Fear not, nor 
grieve ; God the Lord, who was born of thee, will 
take thee out of this world with glory. And re- 
joicing in God her Saviour, she sat up in the bed, 10 
and says to the apostles : Now have I believed that 
our Master and God is coming from heaven, and I 
shall behold Him, and thus depart from this life, as 
I have seen that you have come. And I wish you 
to tell me how you knew that I was departing and 15 
came to me, and from what countries and through 
what distance you have come hither, that you have 
thus made haste to visit me. For neither has He 
who was born of me, our Lord Jesus Christ, the God 
of the universe, concealed it ; for I am persuaded even 20 
now that He is the Son of the Most High. 

And Peter answered and said to the apostles : Let 
us each, according to what the Holy Spirit announced 
and commanded us, give full information to the 
mother of our Lord. And I John answered and 25 
said : Just as I was going in to the holy altar in 
Ephesus to perform divine service, the Holy Spirit 
says to me, The time of the departure of the mother 
of thy Lord is at hand; go to Bethlehem to salute 




Falling Asleep *§ New Testament 

p eter her. And a cloud of light snatched me up, and set 

Paul me down in the door where thou art lying. Peter 

Thomas a ^ s0 answered : And I, living in Rome, about dawn 

a 1 Mark heard a voice through the Holy Spirit saying to me, 

late The mother of thy Lord is to depart, as the time 

theirs x% at nanc * 5 &° to Bethlehem to salute her. And, 

behold, a cloud of light snatched me up ; and I 

beheld also the other apostles coming to me on 

clouds, and a voice saying to me, Go all to Bethlehem. 

10 And Paul also answered and said : And I, living in a 

city at no great distance from Rome, called the 

country of Tiberia, heard the Holy Spirit saying to 

me, The mother of thy Lord, having left this world, 

is making her course to the celestial regions through 

is her departure ; but go thou also to Bethlehem to 

salute her. And, behold, a cloud of light having 

snatched me up, set me down in the same place as 

you. And Thomas also answered and said : And I, 

traversing the country of the Indians, when the 

20 preaching was prevailing by the grace of Christ, and 

the king's sister's son, Labdanus by name, was about 

to be sealed by me in the palace, on a sudden the 

Holy Spirit says to me, Do thou also, Thomas, go 

to Bethlehem to salute the mother of thy Lord, 

25 because she is taking her departure to the heavens. 

And a cloud of light having snatched me up, set me 

down beside you. And Mark also answered and 

said : And when I was finishing the canon of the 

third [day] in the city of Alexandria, just as I was 


Apocryphal Writings $e» of Mary. 

praying, the Holy Spirit snatched me up, and brought Also 
me to you. And James also answered and said : James, 
While I was in Jerusalem, the Holy Spirit com- Matthew 
manded me, saying, Go to Bethlehem, because the and Bar- 
mother of thy Lord is taking her departure. And, tholomew 
behold, a cloud of light having snatched me up, set 
me beside you. And Matthew also answered and 
said : I have glorified and do glorify God, because 
when I was in a boat and overtaken by a storm, the 
sea raging with its waves, on a sudden a cloud ofio 
light overshadowing the stormy billow, changed it to 
a calm, and having snatched me up, set me down 
beside you. And those who had come before like- 
wise answered, and gave an account of how they had 
come. And Bartholomew said : I was in the 15 
Thebais proclaiming the word, and behold the Holy 
Spirit says to me, The mother of thy Lord is taking 
her departure ; go, then, to salute her in Bethlehem. 
And, behold, a cloud of light having snatched me up, 
brought me to you. 20 

The apostles said all these things to the holy 
mother of God, why they had come, and in what 
way ; and she stretched her hands to heaven, and 
prayed, saying : I adore, and praise, and glorify Thy 
much to be praised name, O Lord, because Thou 25 
hast looked upon the lowliness of Thine handmaiden, 
and because Thou that art mighty hast done great 
things for me; and, behold, all generations shall 
count me blessed. And after the prayer she said 


Falling Asleep *$ New Testament 

Miraculous to the apostles : Cast incense, and pray. And 

Occurrences when they had prayed, there was thunder from 

in Beth- heaven, and there came a fearful voice, as if of 

lehem chariots ; and, behold, a multitude of a host of 

5 angels and powers, and a voice, as if of the Son of 
man, was heard, and the seraphim in a circle round 
the house where the holy, spotless mother of God 
and virgin was lying, so that all who were in 
Bethlehem beheld all the wonderful things, and came 

I0 to Jerusalem and reported all the wonderful things 
that had come to pass. And it came to pass, when 
the voice was heard, that the sun and the moon 
suddenly appeared about the house ; and an assembly 
of the first-born saints stood beside the house where 

, s the mother of the Lord was lying, for her honour and 
glory. And I beheld also that many signs came to 
pass, the blind seeing, the deaf hearing, the lame 
walking, lepers cleansed, and those possessed by un- 
clean spirits cured; and every one who was under 

20 disease and sickness, touching the outside of the 
wall of the house where she was lying, cried out : 
Holy Mary, who didst bring forth Christ our God, 
have mercy upon us. And they were straightway 
cured. And great multitudes out of every country 

25 living in Jerusalem for the sake of prayer, having 
heard of the signs that had come to pass in Bethle- 
hem through the mother of the Lord, came to the 
place seeking the cure of various diseases, which also 
they obtained. And there was joy unspeakable on 


Apoc ryphal Writings So* of Mary. 

that day among the multitude of those who had been The Jews 
cured, as well as of those who looked on, glorifying demand 
Christ our God and His mother. And all Jerusalem that Mary 
from Bethlehem kept festival with psalms and spiritual be expelled 

songs. . f rom J7J 

And the priests of the Jews, along with their Bethlehem 
people, were astonished at the things which had come 
to pass ; and being moved with the heaviest hatred, 
and again with frivolous reasoning, haying made an 
assembly, they determine to send against the holy m 
mother of God and the holy apostles who were there 
in Bethlehem. And accordingly the multitude of 
the Jews, having directed their course to Bethlehem, 
when at the distance of one mile it came to pass that 
they beheld a frightful vision, and their feet were held i 5 
fast ; and after this they returned to their fellow- 
countrymen, and reported all the frightful vision to 
the chief priests. And they, still more boiling with 
rage, go to the procurator, crying out and saying : 
The nation of the Jews has been ruined by this 20 
woman ; chase her from Bethlehem and the province 
of Jerusalem. And the procurator, astonished at the 
wonderful things, said to them : I will chase her 
neither from Bethlehem nor from any other place. 
And the Jews continued crying out, and adjuring 25 
him by the health of Tiberius Caesar to bring the 
apostles out of Bethlehem. And if you do not do 
so, we shall report it to the Caesar. Accordingly, 
being compelled, he sends a tribune of the soldiers 

Falling Asleep 49 New Testament 

apostles against the apostles to Bethlehem. And the Holy 
carry Spirit says to the apostles and the mother of the 
Mary to Lord : Behold, the procurator has sent a tribune 
Jerusalem against you, the Jews having made an uproar. Go 
5 forth therefore from Bethlehem, and fear not : for, 
behold, by a cloud I shall bring you to Jerusalem ; 
for the power of the Father, and the Son, and the 
Holy Spirit is with you. The apostles therefore 
rose up immediately, and went forth from the house, 
xo carrying the bed of the Lady the mother of God, 
and directed their course to Jerusalem ; and immedi- 
ately, as the Holy Spirit had said, being lifted up by 
a cloud, they were found in Jerusalem in the house of 
the Lady. And they stood up, and for five days 
15 made an unceasing singing of praise. And when the 
tribune came to Bethlehem, and found there neither 
the mother of the Lord nor the apostles, he laid hold 
of the Bethlehemites, saying to them : Did you not 
come telling the procurator and the priests all the 
20 signs and wonders that had come to pass, and how 
the apostles had come out of every country ? Where 
are they, then ? Come, go to the procurator at Jeru- 
salem. For the tribune did not know of the departure 
of the apostles and the Lord's mother to Jerusalem. 
. 25 The tribune then, having taken the Bethlehemites, went 
in to the procurator, saying that he had found no one. 
And after five days it was known to the procurator, 
and the priests, and all the city, that the Lord's 

mother was in her own house in Jerusalem, along with 


Apocryphal Writings &► of Mary. 

the apostles, from the signs and wonders that came to Division 
pass there. And a multitude of men and women and among the 
yirgins came together, and cried out : Holy virgin, Jews 
that didst bring forth Christ our God, do not forget 
the generation of men. And when these things came 5 
to pass, the people of the Jews, with the priests also, 
being the more moved with hatred, took wood and 
fire, and came up, wishing to burn the house where 
the Lord's mother was living with the apostles. And 
the procurator stood looking at the sight from afar 10 
off. And when the people of the Jews came to the 
door of the house, behold, suddenly a power of fire 
coming forth from within, by means of an angel, 
burnt up a great multitude of the Jews. And there 
was great fear throughout all the city ; and they 15 
glorified God, who had been born of her. And 
when the procurator saw what had come to pass, he 
i cried out to all the people, saying : Truly he who was 
born of the virgin, whom you thought of driving 
away, is the Son of God ; for these signs are those 20 
of the true God. And there was a division among 
the Jews ; and many believed in the name of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, in consequence of the signs that 
had come to pass. 

And after all these wonderful things had come to as 
pass through the mother of God, and ever-virgin 
Mary the mother of the Lord, while we the apostles 
were with her in Jerusalem, the Holy Spirit said to 
us : You know that on the Lord's day the good 


Falling Asleep *$ New Testament 

The Holy news was brought to the Virgin Mary by the arch- 
Spirit angel Gabriel ; and on the Lord's day the Saviour 
speaks was born in Bethlehem ; and on the Lord's day the 
to the children of Jerusalem came forth with palm branches 
Apostles to meet Him, saying, Hosanna in the highest, blessed 
is He that cometh in the name of the Lord, and on 
the Lord's day He rose from the dead ; and on the 
Lord's day He will come to judge the living and the 
dead ; and on the Lord's day He will come out of 
10 heaven, to the glory and honour of the departure of 
the holy glorious virgin who brought Him forth. 
And on the same Lord's day the mother of the Lord 
says to the apostles : Cast incense, because Christ is 
coming with a host of angels ; and, behold, Christ is 
15 at hand, sitting on a throne of cherubim. And 
while we were all praying, there appeared innumerable 
multitudes of angels, and the Lord mounted upon 
cherubim in great power ; and, behold, a stream of 
light coming to the holy virgin, because of the 
ao presence of her only-begotten Son, and all the 
powers of the heavens fell down and adored Him. 
And the Lord, speaking to His mother, said: Mary. 
And she answered and said : Here am I, Lord. 
And the Lord said to her : Grieve not, but let thy 
2 5 heart rejoice and be glad ; for thou hast found grace 
to behold the glory given to me by my Father. 
And the holy mother of God looked up, and saw in 
Him a glory which it is impossible for the mouth of 
man to speak of, or to apprehend. And the Lord 

Apocryphal Writings 5*> of Mary. 

remained beside her, saying : Behold, from the Christ 
present time thy precious body will be transferred to announces 
paradise, and thy holy soul to the heavens to the His 
treasures of my Father in exceeding brightness, Mother's 
where there is peace and joy of the holy angels, — Translation 
and other things besides. And the mother of the to Glory 
Lord answered and said to Him : Lay Thy right 
hand upon me, O Lord, and bless me. And the 
Lord stretched forth His undefiled right hand, and 
blessed her. And she laid hold of His undefiled 10 
right hand, and kissed it, saying : I adore this right 
hand, which created the heaven and the earth ; and 
I call upon Thy much to be praised name Christ, O 
God, the King of the ages, the only-begotten of the 
Father, to receive Thine handmaid, Thou who didst 15 
deign to be brought forth by me, in a low estate, to 
save the race of men through Thine ineffable dis- 
pensation ; do Thou bestow Thine aid upon every 
man calling upon, or praying to, or naming the name 
of, Thine handmaid. And while she is saying this, 20 
the apostles, having gone up to her feet and adored, 
say : O mother of the Lord, leave a blessing to the 
world, since thou art going away from it. For thou 
hast blessed it, and raised it up when it was ruined, 
by bringing forth the Light of the world. And the 25 
mother of the Lord prayed, and in her prayer spoke 
thus : O God, who through Thy great goodness hast 
sent from the heavens Thine only-begotten Son to 
dwell in my humble body, who has deigned to be 

Falling Asleep +$ New Testament 

Prayer o/born of me, humble (as I am), have mercy upon the 

Mary world, and every soul that calls upon Thy name. 

And again she prayed, and said : O Lord, King of 

the heavens, Son of the living God, accept every man 

5 who calls upon Thy name, that Thy birth may be 
glorified. And again she prayed, and said : O Lord 
Jesus Christ, who art all-powerful in heaven and on 
earth, in this appeal I implore Thy holy name ; in 
every time and place where there is made mention 

xoof my name, make that place holy, and glorify 
those that glorify Thee through my name, accepting 
of such persons all their offering, and all their suppli- 
cation, and all their prayer. And when she had thus 
prayed, the Lord said to His mother : Let thy heart 

15 rejoice and be glad ; for every favour and every gift 
has been given to thee from my Father in heaven, 
and from me, and from the Holy Spirit: every soul 
that calls upon thy name shall not be ashamed, but 
shall find mercy, and comfort, and support, and con- 

20 fidence, both in the world that now is, and in that 
which is to come, in the presence of my Father in 
the heavens. And the Lord turned and said to 
Peter : The time has come to begin the singing of 
the hymn. And Peter having begun the singing of 

25 the hymn, all the powers of the heavens responded 
with the Alleluiah. And then the face of the 
mother of the Lord shone brighter than the light, 
and she rose up and blessed each of the apostles with 
her own hand, and all gave glory to God ; and the 


Apocryphal Writings £*» of Mary. 

Lord stretched forth His undefiled hands, and re- Death and 
ceived her holy and blameless soul. And with the Burial of 
departure of her blameless soul the place was filled Mary 
with perfume and ineffable light ; and, behold, a 
voice out of the heaven was heard, saying : Blessed 5 
art thou among women. And Peter, and I John, 
and Paul, and Thomas, ran and wrapped up her 
precious feet for the consecration ; and the twelve 
apostles put her precious and holy body upon a couch, 
and carried it. And, behold, while they were 10 
carrying her, a certain well-born Hebrew, Jephonias 
by name, running against the body, put his hands 
upon the couch ; and, behold, an angel of the Lord 
by invisible power, with a sword of fire, cut off his 
two hands from his shoulders, and made them hang 15 
about the couch, lifted up in the air. And at this 
miracle which had come to pass all the people of the 
Jews who beheld it cried out : Verily, He that was 
brought forth by thee is the true God, O mother of 
God, ever-virgin Mary. And Jephonias himself, 20 
when Peter ordered him, that the wonderful things 
of God might be showed forth, stood up behind the 
couch, and cried out : Holy Mary, who broughtest 
forth Christ who is God, have mercy upon me. And 
Peter turned and said to him : In the name of Him 25 
who was born of her, thy hands which have been 
taken away from thee, will be fixed on again. 
And immediately, at the word of Peter, the 
hands hanging by the couch of the Lady came, 
and were fixed on Jephonias. And he believed, 


Falling Asleep ^> New Testament 

The Body and glorified Christ, God who had been born of 
translated her. 

to Heaven And when this miracle had been done, the apostles 
carried the couch, and laid down her precious and 
5 holy body in Gethsemane in a new tomb. And, 
behold, a perfume of sweet savour came forth out of 
the holy sepulchre of our Lady the mother of God ; 
and for three days the voices of invisible angels were 
heard glorifying Christ our God, who had been born 

10 of her. And when the third day was ended, the 
voices were no longer heard ; and from that time 
forth all knew that her spotless and precious body had 
been transferred to paradise. 

And after it had been transferred, behold, we see 

15 Elizabeth the mother of St. John the Baptist, and 
Anna the mother of the Lady, and Abraham, and 
Isaac, and Jacob, and David, singing the Alleluiah, 
and all the choirs of the saints adoring the holy 
relics of the mother of the Lord, and the place 

20 full of light, than which light nothing could be 
more brilliant, and an abundance of perfume 
in that place to which her precious and holy body 
had been transferred in paradise, and the melody of 
those praising Him who had been born of her — 

25 sweet melody, of which there is no satiety, such as 
is given to virgins, and them only, to hear. We 
apostles, therefore, having beheld the sudden precious 
translation of her holy body, glorified God, who had 
shown us His wonders at the departure of the 


Apocryphal Writings w* of Mary. 

mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, whose prayers and Glory of 
good offices may we all be deemed worthy to receive, Mary 
under her shelter, and support, and protection, both 
in the world that now is and in that which is to 
come, glorifying in every time and place her only- 5 
begotten Son, along with the Father and the Holy 
Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen, 




Title, — The title Protevangelium is first given in the Latin 
version of Postellus, 1552. The titles in the MSS. greatly 
vary. That adopted by Tischendorf is The Birth of Mary the 
Holy Mother of God, and very glorious Mother of Jesus Christ, 
James, the reputed author, is variously described as ' the Less,' 
'the Lord's brother' (or 'brother of God'), 'the bishop of 
Jerusalem,' etc. 

p. 1, 1. 2. The Church of Rome appoints March 20 as the 
Feast of St. Joachim. His liberality is commended in the 

p. I, 1. 5. The Syriac is clearer : 'And that portion which 
I owe by the law I offer it to the Lord, that it may be to me for 

p. I, 1. 6. In the Nativity of Mary, the 'great day* is called 
'the Festival of the Dedication' {cp, John x. 22). More prob- 
ably the Feast of Tabernacles is meant. See below. 

p. I, 1. 9. Better, * Ruben' (Reuben), as in some MSS., and 
in Pseudo- Matthew, Cp. chap. vi. In the Nativity of Mary 
the priest is called 'Issachar,' and this is followed in the 
Mystery Plays ( Ysakar), 

p. 1,1. 12. 'Registers of the twelve tribes.' The Greek 
word is dodekaphulon, and some interpret — 'to the twelve 
tribes' (of the people). So also Syriac. But the context 
implies a search of records. Cp, 1. I, 'In the records 
(genealogies) of the twelve tribes of Israel.' 

p. 1,1. 18. Another reading is, ' in his last days.' 
K 117 

Notes. **? New Testament 

p. 1,1. 21. Pseudo- Matthew says, ' He went to his flocks, 
taking with him his shepherds into the mountains into a far 
country, so that for five months his wife Anna could hear no 
tidings of him ' (chap. h\). 

p. i, 1. 22. 'Forty days and forty nights.' Cp. Exod. xxiv. 
1 8, xxxiv. 28 ; Deut. ix. 9 ; I Kings xix. 8 ; Matt. iv. 2. 

p. 2, 1. 4. The 26th of July is the Feast of St. Anna in the 
Church of Rome. 'Two mournings,' from the twofold cause, 
her widowhood and her childlessness. 

p. 2, 11. 7-9. 'The great day.' Possibly, as Thilo conjec- 
tures, the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles (John vii. 37). 
Anna had been mourning during the week. 

p. 2, 1. 11. Rather, which a lady, a former mistress, had 
given her as a reward of her work. The headband was too 
ornamental for a servant's use. 

p. 2, I.13. Some MSS. read, 'And thou hast a royal 

p. 2, 1. 19. Meaning, What could I wish worse for thee than 
thy present condition. 

p. 3, 1. 21. In Pseudo- Matthew Anna has already conceived 
seed (chap. iii.). . 

p. 3, 1. 24. Cp. Hannah's dedication of Samuel (I bam. 

i. 11). ... -i j 

p. 4, 1. 18. The plate on the priest's mitre, inscribed 
« Holiness to the Lord.' A priestly petalon is ascribed in 
tradition to the Apostle John (Euseb., H.E. iii. 31, v. 24). 
There seems to have been a belief that the petalon gave 
some indication by its appearance when an impious person 
approached. . 

p. 5, 1. 15. 'Led her astray.' If the text is not corrupt, the 
Greek word can only mean that the virgins seduced her (in a 
good sense) from the things that might interfere with her entire 
consecration. Cp. chap. vii. The Syriac is rendered, 'rejoiced 
with her' (Lewis). rTT . • 

p. 6, 1. 15. Lest the Lord send some mark of His displeasure 

upon us. 
r 118 

Apocryphal Writings S^ Notes. 

p. 6, 1. 21. Virgins are again employed to prevent the child's 
heart from being turned aside. 

p. 6, 1. 25. The residence of virgins in the Temple is entirely 
unhistorical. Pseudo- Matthew and the Nativity elaborate the 
idea, and represent the Temple as an abode of a community of 
virgins. They remained till they were of marriageable age 
(Pseudo- Matthew iv., viii. ; Nativity vii.) 

p. 7, 1. 4. The above-named Gospels add many marvels. 
Mary, on being set down, runs swiftly up the fifteen steps of 
the Temple (corresponding to the Psalms of Degrees) without 
anyone helping or leading her (Pseudo- Matthew iv. ; Nativity 

p. 7, 1. 10. Fed by an angel. Cp. the (first) Latin form of 
the Transitus ; 'I always guarded thee, and caused thee to be 
fed daily with my angelic food.' Pseudo- Matthew gives full 
accounts of Mary's occupations and miracles (chap. vi.). 

p. 7, 1. 13. Syriac has also twelve years. Some MSS. and 
the other Gospels have fourteen. According to the latter Mary 
is invited to marry, but protests her vow of perpetual virginity 
(Pseudo- Matthew vii., viii. ; Nativity vii.). The high priest 
says in Pseudo- Matthew : ' A new order of life has been found 
out by Mary alone, who promises that she will remain a virgin 
to God' (chap. viii.). 

p. 7, 1. 24. 'Each his rod' = staff. 

p. 8, 1. 7. The dove. The Nativity of Mary has a variety. 
In fulfilment of Isa. xi. I, 2, the successful rod is to produce a 
flower, on which the Spirit shall settle in the form of a dove. 
Joseph's rod alone fulfils the condition (chaps, vii., viii.). A 
prominent feature in pictures of the Marriage of the Virgin by 
Raphael and his successors is that of the disappointed suitors 
breaking their useless rods. Mary in the Temple and the 
Betrothal to Joseph were favourite subjects in the Miracle 

p. 9, 1. 8. « Blue ' = hyacinth. 

p. 9, 1. 16. Pseudo- Matthew separates the two annuncia- 
tions by a day, and makes the first (at the fountain) more 


Notes. *§ New Testament 

distinct (chap. ix.). The Nativity has only one (in house, 
chap. ix.). 

p. 9, 1. 24. This peculiar combination of Matthew and Luke 
in the address to Mary is found in Justin Martyr (Apol. i. 33), 
from which, with other traits, a use of this Gospel is inferred. 

p. 9, 1. 25. Lit., * having received joy.' Justin Martyr has 
again a parallel, * The Virgin Mary having received grace and 
joy' {Dial, with Trypho, 100). 

p. 10,1.9. * Scarlet.' The readings vary ('wool,' etc.). 
Syriac has 'sieve.' 

p. 10, 1. 20. Cp. Mary's answer to Joseph below. 

p. II, 1. 9. Two MSS. read 'hunted her? 

p. 11, 1. 12. In the hour of his 'doxology,' i.e., before the 
Fall. Some MSS. want or vary this clause. 

p. 11, 1. 24. The answer might truthfully mean that the fact 
was as great a mystery to Mary herself as to any. But the 
narrator has already suggested that she had ' forgotten ' the 
mysteries announced by the archangel (chap, xii.) — a clumsy 

p. 12, 1. 2. Lit., 'angelic.' In Pseudo- Matthew this is the 
suggestion of the virgins (chap. x.). 

p. 13, 1. 20. The water of jealousy (Numb. v.). It need not 
be said that there is no warrant in law or custom for the appli- 
cation of this ordeal to men. In the Protevangelium Joseph 
and Mary are sent to the hill-country and return unhurt ; in 
Pseudo- Matthew they walk round the altar seven times, and are 
cleansed on the spot (chap. xii.). The Trial of Joseph and Mary 
was another favourite subject of the Mediaeval Mysteries. 

p. 14, 1. 28. The birth of Jesus in a cave is a very early tradi- 
tion, and seems to have some local origin. Justin mentions it 
{Dial, with Trypho, 78) ; and Origen says, ' There is shown 
at Bethlehem the cave where He was born, and the manger in 
the cave where He was wrapped in swaddling-clothes ' {Against 
Celsus, I. 51). Jerome repeatedly mentions it : 'That cave in 
which the Son of God was born,' ' that venerable cave,' etc. 
(Cp. letters to Sabianus and Paulinus). It is to be noticed, 

Apocryphal Writings 5^ Notes. 

however, that in the apocryphal story (i) the cave is situated 
about three miles from Bethlehem (Mary being overtaken by 
childbirth in the way) ; and (2) the stable is not in the cave, 
but is sought some days after (chap. xxii. ; Pseudo- Matthew 
xiv. ; ^ thus also Justin). There is no certain basis for the 

p. 15, 1. 3. The narrative here (chap, xviii.) changes to the 
first person (Joseph being now the speaker), and from com- 
parative sobriety becomes wildly fantastic. It is plain that in 
this chapter we are dealing with another and older source — 
probably with part of the original Gospel. This leads to the 
suspicion, strengthened by what follows, that the Gospel took 
its origin in Esseno-Ebionitic or early Gnostic circles. 

p. 15, 1. 20. The story of the mid wives and of the Nativity 
in the cave is again a favourite subject with the Mediaeval 
Mystery- writers. It cannot be overlooked that in the story the 
birth of Jesus is robbed of part of its reality. Jesus is not born 
after the manner of other children. A great light fills the cave, 
and, as it decreases, the infant Jesus appears, while His mother 
remains a virgin. There is thus a docetic tinge in the narrative. 
This bears out the above suggestion of its origin. 

p. 18, 1. 25. Pseudo- Matthew (chap, xiv.) brings in the well- 
known trait of the ox and the ass adoring Christ in the stall, in 
supposed fulfilment of Isa. i. 3. 

p. 19, 1. 21. The episode of the death of Zacharias, the father 
of the Baptist, is not found in the other Apocryphal Gospels, but 
may have been part of the original of this. It is evidently 
evolved from Christ's allusion to the murder of Zacharias in 
Matt, xxiii. 35 (Cp. 2 Chron. xxiv. 21). The cleaving of the 
mountain to receive Elizabeth and her babe is of the type of the 
marvels that precede. 

p. 20, 1. 20. The James intended is no doubt the Lord's 
brother, who figures also in the Clementines and other pseudo- 
graphic compositions. 

Notes§ ^ New lestament 


p. 21,1. I. The Gospel professes to be written by 'Thomas 
the Israelite. 5 In the Latin version Thomas is identified with 
'the Apostle of the Lord' (chap, iv.), and there is a second 
endorsement by him at the close. _ The work is really, as shown 
in the Introduction, of Gnostic origin. 

p. 21, 1. 3. The special object of the Gospel is to recount the 
miracles of the infancy. The Latin version commences with 
three chapters relating to the sojourn in Egypt. These give one 
additional miracle, viz., the making a dried fish to live and 
swim (chap. i.). Chaps, xxvi. to xlii. of Pseudo- Matthew {see 
below) are simply another version of the Thomas-Gospel. They 
contain nearly all the miracles in the Greek and Syriac copies, 
with one or two additions. 

p. 21, 1. 6. It may be convenient at this point to give a list of 
the miracles which form the staple of the Gospel. They are 
these, in order of the text : — 

1. Jesus collects water into pools, and clears them (chap. ii.). 

2. Challenged for breaking the Sabbath, He makes clay 
sparrows fly (chap. ii.). • ' 

3. Withers up the son of Annas, who had spoiled His pools 
(chap. iii.). 

4. Kills a boy who jostles Him (chap. iv.). 

5. Strikes His accusers with blindness (chap. v.). 

6. Confounds the schoolmaster Zacchseus with His knowledge 
of the Hebrew letters (chaps, vi., vii.). 

7. Heals those who had fallen under His curse (chap. vin.). 

8. Raises from the dead a boy fallen from a roof, whose 
death He had been accused of causing (chap. ix.). 

9. Heals a youth's foot wounded by an axe (chap. x.). 

10. Carries home water in His cloak— the pitcher being 
broken (chap. xi.). 

11. Makes corn which He sows to multiply (chap. xn.). 


Apo crypnai vv ntings 

12 Aids Joseph's carpentry by lengthening a piece of wood 

(chap. xiii.). , TT . , , . x 

13. Kills a teacher who struck Him (chap. xiv.). 

14. Preaches to another teacher, and restores the one He had 
killed (chap. xv.). 

15. Cures James of a viper's bite, and kills the viper 

(chap. xvi.). 

16. Gives life to a dead child (chap. xvn.). 

17. Raises a dead man to life (chap. xvni.). 

18. Instructs the Rabbis. 

p 21 Lio. Between the miracles of the pools and the making 
of the 'sparrows Pseudo- Matthew interpolates a duplicate of 
miracle No. 3, viz., the withering up of the boy who destroyed 
the pools. The story of the son of Annas, however, occurs m 
its own place. , 

p. 22, 1. 20. In the shorter Greek form the boy does not run 
against Jesus, but throws a stone at Him, and strikes His 
shoulder. The other versions give the story as in the text. # 

p. 23, 1. 16. Thilo interprets, with one of the MSS., ' It is 
enough for thee that they (the persons blinded) seek and are not 
able to find.' Pseudo- Matthew makes Jesus, at Joseph's remon- 
strance, take the dead boy by the ear and revive him (chap. 

XXIX. J. . 

p.* 23, 1. 26. The story of Zacchaeus and the Hebrew alphabet is 
a favourite one, and appears, but with variations, in all the 
versions. The similar story further down is only a variant of 
this. In Pseudo- Matthew Zacchaeus does not himself teach the 
letters, but hands Jesus over to an old man, Master Levi, with 
whom the dialogue takes place (chap. xxxi.). 

p. 24, 1. 12. The passage on the mysteries of the letter Alpha 
is hopelessly corrupt, and is unintelligible. The form of letter 
that best answers to the description is the old Phoenician ^ A, 
which somewhat resembles the letter ' V laid sidewise, with a 
cross-intersecting stroke. , 

p. 24, 1. 20. One MS., after a brief allusion to Zacchseus 
going home ashamed, substitutes for chap. vii. a fragment of the 


Notes. ^5 New Iestament 

story of the changing of the colours of cloth in the dyer's shop, 
as given in the Arabic Gospel of the Infancy, chap, xxxvii. 

p. 25, 1. 1. 'Born before the creation of the world.' The 
shorter Greek Gospel makes Jesus say to Zacchseus, ' I know- 
more than you, for I am before the ages. . . . Assuredly I 
know when the world was created' (chap. vi.). Similarly in 
Pseudo-Matthew, 1 1 have seen Abraham, whom you call your 
father, and have spoken with him ; andhehas seen me' (chap. xxx.). 

p. 27, 1. 14. 'Kor^ homer. Jerome states that the kor 
equals 30 modii, Jahn reckons it at 32 pecks, 1 pint. 

p. 27, 1. 23. Justin Martyr says that Jesus, working as a carpen- 
ter, ^made ploughs and yokes J (Dial. %%), which may bean 
allusion to this passage. 

p. 28, 1. 8. Evidently a duplicate of the story of Zacchseus. 
It is referred to by Irenaeus (i. 20). 

p. 30, 1. 20. This story of the raising of the workman is want- 
ing in Pseudo- Matthew, but instead of it is a story of the raising 
of a rich man from the dead at Capernaum (chap. xl. ). 

p. 30, 1. 23. The spirit of mercy here ascribed to Jesus is cer- 
tainly not predominant in the Gospel. 

p. 30, 1. 26. This narrative, of course, is based on Luke ii. 


Title and early part of the Gospel. — This Gospel, described as 
' the book of the Birth of the Blessed Mary and the Infancy of 
our Saviour,' bears to be 'written in Hebrew by the Blessed 
Evangelist Matthew, and translated into Latin by the Blessed 
Presbyter Jerome.' It is prefaced, as stated in the Introduction, 
by a forged letter to Jerome from two bishops, Chromatius and 
Heliodorus, and by a pretended reply from Jerome. A second 
and variant letter from Jerome to the same bishops is also 
extant. Chaps, i.-xvii. simply reproduce with embellishments 
the story of the Birth of Mary and the Nativity given in the 


Apocry phal Writings £#» Notes. 

Protevangelium. Two MSS., indeed, have a prologue attribut- 
ing the work to James. 

p. 32, 1. 1. With chap. xvii. commences the narrative of the 
flight into Egypt and the miracles wrought there. This extends 
to chap, xxv.— the close of the Gospel according to Thilo and 
other authorities. On the later chapters, see below, p. 126. 

The miracles in this (the properly original) part of the Gospel 
are the following : — 

1. The dragons and beasts of the desert adore Jesus (chaps, 
xviii., xix.). 

2. Jesus makes a palm tree bend down its branches to yield 
fruit to Mary ; then causes it to rise up again, and a spring of 
water to come from its root (chap. xx. ). 

3. An angel at Jesus's word carries a branch of the palm tree 
to paradise (chap. xxi. ). 

4. Jesus shortens the journey to Egypt from thirty days to one 
day (chap. xxii. ). 

5. The idols in the Temple at Egypt fall prostrate and are 
shattered at Christ's entrance (chaps, xxiii., xxiv.). 

This completes the cycle of the miracles of the Infancy, with 
the exception of those additional in the (late) extravaganza, The 
Arabic Gospel of the Infancy. 

p. 33, 1. 10. * I am and always have been perfect.' To realise 
the incongruity of the sayings and doings in these sections it is to 
be remembered that Jesus is a babe under two years of age. 

P- 33* 1- *3- • Lions and panthers adored him likewise. 
What looks like a duplicate of this adoration of the beasts is 
found in chaps, xxxiv. and xxxv. of the later part of the Gospel. 
The scene there is a cave near Jericho, where a lioness is nursing 
her cubs. ^ « When the lions saw Jesus, they ran to meet him and 
adored him. And Jesus was sitting in the cavern, and the 
lion's cubs ran hither and thither round his feet, fawning upon 
him, and sporting. And the older lions, with their heads bowed 
down, stood at a distance, and adored him, and fawned upon 
him with their tails.' Jesus (then eight years old) said, ■ Beasts 
know me, and are tame ; men see me, and do not acknowledge 

Notes. **§ New Testament 

p. 43, 1. 15. One MS. reads ■ Procla.' This is the traditional 
name of Pilate's wife. The second Greek version puts the in- 
cident of the dream in chap. vi. , and names the wife of Pilate 
< Procle.' 

p. 45, 1. 28. ' Take the sun to witness.' Cp. chap, ix., 
* Pilate washed his hands in the face of the sun ' ; and chap, xii., 
Joseph * washed his hands in the face of the sun. ' 

p. 46, 1. 8. All the Gospels are used in this narrative, but 
that of John most largely. 

p. 49, 1. 23. The testimony of Nicodemus is followed by 
that of the impotent man of John v., of Bartimseus, of the 
woman who had the issue of blood, etc. Justin cites the Acts 
of Pilate in proof that, as predicted, Christ should heal all dis- 
eases (ApoL i. 48). 

p. 50, 1. 19. Some MSS. add Bernice, or Veronica, as the 
name of the woman with the issue. So in second Greek 
version (chap. vii.). The Veronica legend had a great develop- 
ment in the Church (see documents in Ante-Nicene Library 

p. 51, 1. 27. Pilate's Biblical knowledge has greatly increased 
since he asked the meaning of the Hosanna. 

P- 53» *• 7' The mockery of Jesus, the parting of His gar- 
ments, and the taunting of Him on the Cross, are other features 
for which Justin appeals to the Acts of Pilate (ApoL i. 36, 38). 
Cp. Tertullian (ApoL 25). 

p. 53, 1. 20. Some MSS. add, ' And the soldier Longinus, 
taking a spear, pierced his side, and there came forth blood 
and water.' Longinus is named below (chap. xvi. ; some texts 
omit the name). In second Greek form he is mentioned as the 
centurion in charge (chap, xi.)- 

p. 54, 1. I. In the second part of this Gospel, describing 
Christ's descent into Hades, the penitent malefactor (here called 
Dysmas) is made to remind Jesus of this promise (chap. x. ). 

p. 54, 1. 13. The Hebrew is again corrupt. Puel, e.g., 
stands for Ruchi (cp. Ps. xxxi. 5). 

p. 54, 1. 27. 'Eclipse of the sun.' Tertullian says of this 


Apocryphal Writing s $#» Notes. 

darkness that those who did not know the predictions c no doubt 
thought it an eclipse.' In the context he refers to Pilate's report 
(ApoL 25). 

p. 56, 1. 16. Joseph of Arimathea is imprisoned in a room, but 
is miraculously delivered. He explains afterwards (chap, xv.) 
how Jesus appeared to him on the morning of the resurrection, 
and freed him. 

P- 57> 1- 25. Through a misunderstanding of Matt, xxviii. 
4, 5, the narrator makes the guard overhear the message to the 
women at the sepulchre. Ver. 11 shows that the soldiers had 

p. 59, 1. I. 'Mountain called Mamilch.' Cp. chaps, xv., xvi. 
Other readings are Malek, Mambre, Momphe, etc. The Latin 
version has Mambre. On the conjectures about this mountain, 
see Thilo's long note. Probably it is the mountain which the 
Jews called ha-Melek (the royal mountain). There is a double 
confusion: (1) This mountain, which was in Judea, is placed in 
Galilee ; and (2) it is made the mountain of Ascension. The 
confusion no doubt arises from Matt, xxviii. 16-20. The second 
Greek version corrects to the Mount of Olives (chaps, xiv., xvi.). 

p. 61, 1. 21. At Joseph's suggestion, a search is made for Jesus 
throughout Israel, as formerly for Elijah (2 Kings ii. 12-18). 

p. 68, 1. 21. The three Rabbis who saw Jesus teaching and 
ascending are examined separately, with the effect, apparently, 
of the conversion of Annas and Caiaphas, the priests and 
Levites, and the teachers and rulers generally (cp. chaps, xv. 
and xvi.). In this representation there is strange disregard of 
the Book of Acts. Tertullian appeals to the account of Pilate 
in corroboration of the Resurrection and Ascension (ApoL 25). 

p. 7o> I- 18. 'Jobel' = the year of Jubilee. The Gospel in 
some MSS. ends a few lines before with the words ' We saw 
him taken up into heaven.' The latter part of the chapter 
(wanting also in second Greek and Latin) is confused and 
seemingly irrelevant. 

The second part of the Gospel, in some MSS. a continua- 
tion of the first, narrates Christ's descent into Hades, and 


Notes. *°S New Testament 

story of the changing of the colours of cloth in the dyer's shop, 
as given in the Arabic Gospel of the Infancy, chap, xxxvii. 

p. 25, 1. 1. 'Born before the creation of the world.' The 
shorter Greek Gospel makes Jesus say to Zacchseus, ' I know- 
more than you, for I am before the ages. . . . Assuredly I 
know when the world was created' (chap. vi.). Similarly in 
Pseudo-Matthew, 1 1 have seen Abraham, whom you call your 
father, and have spoken with him ; and he has seen me ' ( chap. xxx.). 

p. 27, 1. 14. 'Kor^homer. Jerome states that the kor 
equals 30 modii. Jahn reckons it at 32 pecks, I pint. 

p. 27, 1. 23. Justin Martyr says that Jesus, working as a carpen- 
ter, 'made ploughs and yokes' (Dial. 88), which may bean 
allusion to this passage. 

p. 28, 1. 8. Evidently a duplicate of the story of Zacchaeus. 
It is referred to by Irenseus (i. 20). 

p. 30, 1. 20. This story of the raising of the workman is want- 
ing in Pseudo- Matthew, but instead of it is a story of the raising 
of a rich man from the dead at Capernaum (chap. xl. ). 

p. 30, 1. 23. The spirit of mercy here ascribed to Jesus is cer- 
tainly not predominant in the Gospel. 

p. 30, 1. 26. This narrative, of course, is based on Luke ii. 


Title and early part of the Gospel. — This Gospel, described as 
1 the book of the Birth of the Blessed Mary and the Infancy of 
our Saviour,' bears to be 'written in Hebrew by the Blessed 
Evangelist Matthew, and translated into Latin by the Blessed 
Presbyter Jerome.' It is prefaced-, as stated in the Introduction, 
by a forged letter to Jerome from two bishops, Chromatius and 
Heliodorus, and by a pretended reply from Jerome. A second 
and variant letter from Jerome to the same bishops is also 
extant. Chaps, i.-xvii. simply reproduce with embellishments 
the story of the Birth of Mary and the Nativity given in the 


Apocryphal Writings £» Notes. 

Protevangelium. Two MSS., indeed, have a prologue attribut- 
ing the work to James. 

p. 32, 1. 1. With chap. xvii. commences the narrative of the 
flight into Egypt and the miracles wrought there. This extends 
to chap, xxv.— the close of the Gospel according to Thilo and 
other authorities. On the later chapters, see below, p. 126. 

The miracles in this (the properly original) part of the Gospel 
are the following : — r 

1. The dragons and beasts of the desert adore Jesus (chaps. 

XVlll., xix.). r 

2. Jesus makes a palm tree bend down its branches to yield 
fruit to Mary ; then causes it to rise up again, and a spring of 
water to come from its root (chap. xx. ). 

3. An angel at Jesus's word carries a branch of the palm tree 
to paradise (chap. xxi.). 

4. Jesus shortens the journey to Egypt from thirty days to one 
day (chap. xxii. ). 

5- The idols in the Temple at Egypt fall prostrate and are 
shattered at Christ's entrance (chaps, xxiii., xxiv.). 

This completes the cycle of the miracles of the Infancy, with 
the exception of those additional in the (late) extravaganza, The 
Arabic Gospel of the Infancy, 

P«. 33» !• 10. ■ I am and always have been perfect. 5 To realise 
the incongruity of the sayings and doings in these sections it is to 
be remembered that Jesus is a babe under two years of age. 
txtP' 3 , 3, }' * 3 ' ' Lions and panthers adored him likewise. 
What looks like a duplicate of this adoration of the beasts is 
found in chaps, xxxiv. and xxxv. of the later part of the Gospel. 
The scene there is a cave near Jericho, where a lioness is nursing 
her cubs. < When the lions saw Jesus, they ran to meet him and 
adored him. And Jesus was sitting in the cavern, and the 
lion s cubs ran hither and thither round his feet, fawning upon 
him, and sporting. And the older lions, with their heads bowed 
down, stood at a distance, and adored him, and fawned upon 
him with their tails.' Jesus (then eight years old) said, « Beasts 
know me, and are tame ; men see me, and do not acknowledge 

NoteSt +§ New Testament 

me ■ This scene ends (chap, xxxvi.) with Jesus dividing the 
waters of the Jordan, and crossing with the lions. These are 
then dismissed. , , 

p 36, 11. 21, 22. Hermopohs was a city of Lower Egypt, the 
capital of the Nomos of Alexandria. Nothing is known of a city 
called Sotinen (or Sotrina). From the fact that Hermopohs is 
wanting in several of the MSS., and that the temple of the city 
is called the Capitol of Egypt, one is tempted to suspect that 
Hermopohs itself is meant. In the Ecclesiastical History of 
Sozomen, which reproduces some of these legends, the falling 
down of the idols is placed in Hermopohs (v. 21). 

p 37 1. 5. Athanasius, in his Incarnation of the Word, reiers 
to this downfall of the idols ; « which of the righteous men or of 
the righteous kings went down into Egypt, so that at his 
entrance the idols of the Egyptians fell' (chap, xxxvi. ; g. chap. 
xxxvii.). This shows that these legends (if not the writing) are 
relatively early. _ . . t , , . 

p. 38, 1. 8. Chap. xxv. (the return to Judea) is included in 
Thilo's chap. xxiv. The remaining chapters in Tischendorf s 
edition (chaps, xxvi.-xlii.) do little more than reproduce with 
amplifications the stories of the Gospel of Thomas. 


Title.— The earlier name by which this work was popularly 
known was The Acts of Pilate. Both Justin Martyr (Apol 1. 
1«5, 48 ; cp. 38) and Tertullian (Apol. 21) appeal to Acts of Pon- 
tius Pilate in confirmation of the facts of the Lord's trial and 
crucifixion. There seem conclusive reasons against the identifi- 
cation of these Acts with the present narrative ; but there is 
probability in the view that the older Acts formed at least the basis 
of the later writing. The Notes will show that Lipsms goes too 
far when he affirms (Diet, of Christ. Biog., art. Apoc. Gospels ) 
that there are no traceable resemblances between the two. 


Apocryphal Writings So* Notes. 

p. 39, 1. 3. The seventeenth year of Theodosius II. was 
A.D. 424. In this same year Valentinian III. was made Caesar, 
and next year (a.d. 425) he became Augustus. According to 
Thilo, part of the latter year fell in the ninth Indiction. Thilo 
therefore prefers the reading of a Latin Codex, * Under the 
government of Flavius Theodosius, in his eighteenth year, and 
Valentinian being Augustus.' The numbers as they stand do 
not agree. The sixth year of Valentinian would be A.D. 431. 

p. 39, 1. 12. The fifteenth year of Tiberius (a.d. 29) was the 
year of Christ's baptism (Luke iii. 1), but in the view of many of 
the Fathers (Tertullian, Clement, Lactantius, etc.) it was also the 
year of the Crucifixion, Christ's ministry being supposed to have 
lasted only one year. With this agrees (on the ordinary dating) 
the consulship of Rufus and Rubellio, except that the names are 
wrongly spelt (in Tac, Annals v. 1, ' Rubellius and Fusius ' ; 
inTert., Adv.Jud. 8, * Rubellius and Fufius '). On the other 
hand, this was the thirty-second (not the nineteenth) year of 
Herod ; and the fourth year of the 202nd Olympiad was A.D. 33. 
The above dating is one point of connection between Tertullian 
and the Acts. 

p. 39, 1. 25. There is great textual confusion in the names, 
here and throughout. 

p. 41, 1. 21. The so-called Hebrew words (wanting in some 
MSS.) can hardly have been written as they stand. They repre- 
sent, ' Save now in the highest ; blessed is he that cometh in the 
name of the Lord' (Cp. Ps. cxviii. 25, 26; Matt. xxi. 8, 9). 
Membrome (for * in the highest ') is evidently a corruption of 
some form of Marom (bimromim ; or, as the Salkinson- 
Ginsburg Heb. N.T. translates Luke xix. 38, bimrome-al). 
So baruchamma is plainly for baruch habba (b'shem). 

p. 42, 1. 5. The bending of the standards in adoration of 
Jesus, like the spreading of the doublet, and adoration of Jesus 
by the runner, is an attempt to reverse the conditions of humilia- 
tion of the trial. So Pilate is represented throughout as a con- 
vinced defender of Jesus. 

p. 43, 1. II. The adoration of the standards is repeated. 


Notes. **§ New Testament 

p. 43, 1. 15. One MS. reads ' Procla.' This is the traditional 
name of Pilate's wife. The second Greek version puts the in- 
cident of the dream in chap. vi. , and names the wife of Pilate 

p. 45, 1. 28. ' Take the sun to witness.' Cp. chap, ix., 
' Pilate washed his hands in the face of the sun ' ; and chap. xii. , 
Joseph * washed his hands in the face of the sun.' 

p. 46, 1. 8. All the Gospels are used in this narrative, but 
that of John most largely. 

p. 49, 1. 23. The testimony of Nicodemus is followed by 
that of the impotent man of John v., of Bartimseus, of the 
woman who had the issue of blood, etc. Justin cites the Acts 
of Pilate in proof that, as predicted, Christ should heal all dis- 
eases (ApoL i. 48). 

p. 50, 1. 19. Some MSS. add Bernice, or Veronica, as the 
name of the woman with the issue. So in second Greek 
version (chap. vii.). The Veronica legend had a great develop- 
ment in the Church (see documents in Ante-Nicene Library 

p. 51, 1. 27. Pilate's Biblical knowledge has greatly increased 
since he asked the meaning of the Hosanna. 

P- 53» !• 7* The mockery of Jesus, the parting of His gar- 
ments, and the taunting of Him on the Cross, are other features 
for which Justin appeals to the Acts of Pilate (ApoL i. 36, 38). 
Cp. Tertullian (Apol. 25). 

p. 53, 1. 20. Some MSS. add, ' And the soldier Longinus, 
taking a spear, pierced his side, and there came forth blood 
and water.' Longinus is named below (chap. xvi. ; some texts 
omit the name). In second Greek form he is mentioned as the 
centurion in charge (chap. xi.). 

p. 54, 1. I. In the second part of this Gospel, describing 
Christ's descent into Hades, the penitent malefactor (here called 
Dysmas) is made to remind Jesus of this promise (chap. x. ). 

p. 54, 1. 13. The Hebrew is again corrupt. Rue I, e.g., 
stands for Ruchi (cp. Ps. xxxi. 5). 

p. 54, 1. 27. 'Eclipse of the sun.' Tertullian says of this 


Apocryphal Writing s $&> Notes. 

darkness that those who did not know the predictions ■ no doubt 
thought it an eclipse. ' In the context he refers to Pilate's report 
(ApoL 25). v 

t p. 56, 1. 16. Joseph of Arimathea is imprisoned in a room, but 
is miraculously delivered. He explains afterwards (chap, xv ) 
how Jesus appeared to him on the morning of the resurrection, 
and freed him. 

P- 57, 1. 25. Through a misunderstanding of Matt, xxviii 
4, 5> the narrator makes the guard overhear the message to the 
women at the sepulchre. Ver. 11 shows that the soldiers had 

P- 59j 1- I- ' Mountain called Mamilch.' Cp. chaps, xv xvi 
Other readings are Malek, Mambre, Momphe, etc. The Latin 
Vers i? 1 n . 1 h , as , Mambre - ° n the conjectures about this mountain, 
see Thilo s long note. Probably it is the mountain which the 
Jews called ha-Melek (the royal mountain). There is a double 
confusion: (1) This mountain, which was in Judea, is placed in 
Galilee ; and (2) it is made the mountain of Ascension. The 
confusion no doubt arises from Matt, xxviii. 16-20. The second 
Greek version corrects to the Mount of Olives (chaps, xiv., xvi.). 

p. 61, 1. 21. At Joseph's suggestion, a search is made for Tesus 
throughout Israel, as formerly for Elijah (2 Kings ii. 12-18). 

p. 68, L 21, The three Rabbis who saw Jesus teaching and 
ascending are examined separately, with the effect, apparently, 
of the conversion of Annas and Caiaphas, the priests and 
Levites and the teachers and rulers generally (cp. chaps, xv 
and xvi ). In this representation there is strange disregard of 
the Book of Acts. Tertullian appeals to the account of Pilate 
in corroboration of the Resurrection and Ascension (Apol 2O 

P * 7 S?co *\ 'J ob ^' = the year of Jubilee. The Gospel "in 
some MSS. ends a few lines before with the words < We saw 
him taken up into heaven.' The latter part of the chapter 
(wanting also m second Greek and Latin) is confused and 
seemingly irrelevant. 

The second part of the Gospel, in some MSS. a continua- 
tion of the first, narrates Christ's descent into Hades, and 


Notes, 1*§ New Testament 

deliverance of the souls of the righteous there. It contains 
the legend of the ■ Oil of Mercy,' on the history of which see 
Cowper's Introduction to his Apocryphal Gospels. 


Title.— Generally, The Gospel according to Peter {see Intro- 
duction). _., ' , j 

p. 72, 1. I. The fragment begins just after Pilate has washed 
his hands, as in Matt, xxvii. 24. No others would wash. The 
idea throughout is to shift responsibility from Pilate to the Jews. 

p. 72, 1. 4. Herod is made to take the leading part; so 
bears the chief blame. The suggestion is from Luke xxm. 7- 1 2. 

p. 72, 1. 9. Joseph's request for the body in the tour 
Gospels follows the Crucifixion. Here it precedes, and is sent 

by Pilate to Herod. :,„•., . w 

p. 72, 1. 18. There is a striking parallel in Justin Martyr, 
« As the prophet said, they dragged Him, and set Him on the 
judgment seat, and said, Judge for us ' (ApoLi. 35). * ™ a ? be 
that John xix. 13 was read— 4 set him on the judgment seat. 

p. 72, 1. 20-p. 73, 1. 7. The features of the mockery, with the 
crucifixion between two malefactors, agree in essentials with the 

°p. P 73>* 1. 8 - Lii > ' As in no wise havin S P ain *' This trait 
reveals the docetic origin of the Gospel. , , {V , j 

p. 73, 1.9. The title on the Cross in the Gospels is King of 
the Tews. 5 ' . . „ ,* 

p. 73, 1. II. The casting lots upon the garments is m all the 

G °p P 7^ 1. 12. In Luke (xxiii. 39-43) the penitent malefactor 
rebukes the other, who railed on Jesus. Here the rebuke is 
addressed to the Jews. 

P 71, I- 17. In John (xix. 31, 32) the legs of both malefactor 
are broken ; here breaking is refused to one to prolong torment 


Apocryphal Writings §& Notes. 

p. 73, 1. 24. 'Gall with vinegar.' Matthew mentions ' wine 
mingled with gall' (xxvii. 34, R.V.) ; but this was before cruci- 
fixion. ' Vinegar ' was given on the Cross (Matt. , Mark, John). 

p. 73, 1. 29. Lit. ■ they fell down.' Stumbling ? From fear ? 
For sleep ? All the Synoptics emphasise the darkness. 

p. 74> 1. I. 'My Power,' etc. The cry is evidently based 
on the Gnostic notion that at the Crucifixion the earthly Jesus 
was deserted by the heavenly Christ (an seon), who had de- 
scended on Him at the Baptism. Possibly the presence of the 
1 Power ' conditioned the insensibility to pain above. 

p. 74, 1. 4. The earthquake and rending of the veil as in the 

p. 74, 1. 15. John mentions the garden (xix. 44). 

p. 74, 1. 18. Cp. Luke xxiii. 48. Words like these are found 
in the old Syriac version of this passage in Luke, ' Woe to us 
from our sins ' ; also, apparently, in the Syriac Tatian, ' Woe 
was it unto us . . . the judgments of the desolation of Jerusalem 
have come ' (Robinson). 

p. 75, 1. 4. The story of the watch set at the tomb in Matt 
xxvii. 62-66 is dressed up with apocryphal traits (Petronius as 
name of centurion, seven seals, etc.). 

p. 75, 1. 19-p. 76, 1. 4. The whole account of the Resurrection 
has a highly Gnostic colouring. The soldiers are the witnesses* 

p. 76, 11. 5, 6. • Head reached far above the heavens. ' The 
Elkesaites (end of second century) had a revelation book which 
they professed to receive from an angel ninety-six miles in height, 
which angel was the Son of God (Hipp., Ref. of Her. iv. 8). 
For other interesting parallels, see Robinson's Gospel according 
to Peter (p. 26). 

p 76, 11. 7, 8. An allusion to the preaching in Hades (cp. above 
on Gospel of Nicodemus). 

p. 76, 1. 13. Lit., 'the heavens again appear opened, and a 
certain man descending and entering into the sepulchre.' This 
section is purely apocryphal. The words put into the mouths of 
the centurion and his guard are those of the centurion at the 
Cross (Matt., Mark, Luke). 


Notes< +§ New Testament 

p. 76, 1. 29. A paraphrase of the narrative of the Gospels. In 
this version Jesus does not appear to the women. 

p. 77, 11. 27, 28. Cp. Mark xvi. 8 (end of original Gospel). 

p. 78, 1. 2. There were now only eleven disciples. 

p. 78, 1. 5- The intention may be to relate some incident 
like that in John xxi. 


Subject. — An outline of the story is given in the Introduction. 

p. 78, 1. 9. The flight from Antioch, and the fact that this 
was apparently Paul's first visit to Iconium suggests Acts xiii. 
50, 51. On the other hand, there was already a 'church' in 
the house of Onesiphorus, and the events of Paul's stay are irre- 
concilable with the narrative in Acts. The author may have in 
mind (or confuses with) the later visit implied in Acts xvi. 1-6, 
when Paul first knew Timothy ; but is probably thinking more of 
2 Tim. iii. 11 than of the history in the Acts. He romances 

p. 78, 11. 10, 1 1. On his first missionary journey Paul was accom- 
panied by Barnabas. Demas and Hermogenes are names 
borrowed from 2 Tim. (i. 15, iv. 10). But their forsaking of 
Paul was in the end of his life. 

p. 78, 1. 20. Onesiphorus and his ' house ' are also borrowed 
from 2 Tim. He is there connected with Ephesus (i. 16-18, 
iv. 18). 

p. 79, 11. 7-1 1. The description of Paul's personal appearance 
is probably traditional. It is followed by Renan, Les r Apdtres> 
p. 170. 

p. 79, 1. 22. The style of worship is still of Apostolic 


p. 80, 1. 17. 'Thecla.' Probably a real traditional name. It 
became a favourite name in the Church. The sister of Gregory 
of Nyssa, Macrina, on account of a dream, took the name Thecla. 


Apocryphal Writings &&> Notes. 

p. 8l, 1. 12. Thecla, tied to her window Mike a spider,' in 
listening to Paul discoursing on virginity, rejects all endearments 
of her betrothed. 

p. 82, 1. 28. Gutschmidt makes it probable that Castelios 
was a real person. 

p. 82, 1. 29-p. 83, 1. 1. The being a Christian was not of itself 
a capital crime in the time of Paul. But it was on the way to 
become so {cp. I Peter iv. 14, 16). 

p. 83, 11. 3-7. Again from 2 Tim. (ii. 18). The resurrection 
is said to consist (1) in the procreation of children, (2) in the 
knowledge of the true God. 

p. 83, 1, 19. 'Proconsul.' This is a mistake. Iconium, 
though territorially in Lycaonia, was, in Paul's time, not under a 
proconsul, but was head of an independent tetrarchy (Pliny, Nat. 
Hist. v. 25). The contrast with Luke's minute accuracy in such 
matters is very striking. 

p. 84, 1. 16. Chrysostom thus applies the incident: 'Thecla, 
for the sake of seeing Paul, gave her jewels ; but thou, for 
the sake of seeing Christ, wilt not give an obolus' {Horn. 2<C, 
on Acts). 

p. 86, 11. 1, 2. A similar trait to the Lord appearing in 
the likeness of Paul is found in the Gnostic Acts of Thomas 
(chap. i.). 

p. 86, 1. 10. Methodius, in his Banquet of the Ten Virgins 
(A.D. 300), puts a long oration into the mouth of Thecla, in 
which she alludes to her trials by the wild beasts and by fire 
(viii. 2). J 

p. 86, 1. 21. « Daphne.' The only Daphne known is the site 
of the grove about five miles south of Antioch in Syria. 

p. 87, 1. 24. 'Seal ' ; a name for baptism. ' The seal of the 
Lord (Clem. Alex.) In N.T. the seal is the Holy Spirit 
(2 Cor. 1. 22 ; Eph. i. 13, iv. 30). 

p. 87, L 29. 'Antioch.' It is difficult to make out which 
Antioch is meant. The story would naturally suggest, indeed 
requires, Antioch in Pisidia (so Ramsay). On the other hand, 
the mention of the ■ Syriarch ' Alexander, and the contiguity of 


Notes. *S New Testament 

Daphne suggest Antioch in Syria, A church in Antioch in 
Syria, in fact, was held to mark the spot of Thecla's struggle 
with Alexander (Basil). If this is the meaning, time and 
distance are wholly disregarded. Antioch in Pisidia, how- 
ever, was also a centre of civil and military administration 

p. 8$, 1. 3. Paul's repudiation of Thecla does not set him 
in a chivalrous light. 

p. 88, 1. 13. The crown was ' the official crown with its 
portrait of the reigning emperor ' (Ramsay). Hence the crime 
of Thecla was treason and sacrilege. 

p. 88, 1. 23. 'Tryphsena.' Afterwards described as Queen, 
and relation of the Emperor. It is now well established by 
recent investigation (Gutschmidt, Mommsen, Waddington, Ram- 
say, etc.), and by the discovery of her coins, that Tryphsena was 
an historical personage. The best account of her history, in 
light of recent research, is that of Ramsay in Expository Vol. VI. 
(6th series), pp. 282 ff. (1902). She was daughter of Polemon I., 
King of Pontus, and second cousin to the Emperor Caligula, 
while her mother was cousin of the Emperor Claudius. Her 
husband, the King of Thrace, died early. Her son was Polemon 
II. of Pontus, with whom for some time she reigned in conjunc- 
tion, then apparently fell into disfavour and retired to live 
elsewhere. She appears here as resident, or at least present, in 
Antioch, a widow, opulent but lonely, having just lost her 
daughter Falconilla. Thecla is committed to her keeping for 
the preservation of her chastity. 

p. 89, 11. 16-18. Thecla's prayer avails to translate Falconilla 
to a state of bliss. The same belief in the efficacy of prayers for 
the dead appears in the Acts of Perpetua (Severian persecution, 
A.D. 202). 

p. 91, 1. 8. This is the act of self- baptism which stumbled 
Tertullian {on Bapt. 17). The simple formula 'in the name of 
Jesus Christ ' is still used. Basil of Seleucia says, ■ If any 
choose to call this a mystic baptism, in the case of the martyr in 
her moment of peril, so let him call it, and let not the ancient 


Apocryphal Writings 5*» Notes 

author be blamed for this novel use of the word ' (Diet of Christ 
Biog. y art. 'Thecla 5 ). 

p. 92, 1. 4. On Queen Tryphaena fainting, the spectacle is 
stopped for fear of the wrath of her kinsman, the emperor. 

p. 93, 1- 14. Through Thecla's instruction Tryphaena and 
her maidens believe. 

P- 95, L 18. Many miracles are traditionally reported of this 
later stay in Seleucia. A church was built there in Thecla's 


On the story, see Introduction. 

p. 99, 1. 1. ' Mother of God 5 ; theotokos. This word be- 
came the watchword in the Nestorian controversy (a.d. 428 fT ) 
The most exalted epithets are bestowed on Mary throughout 
this and the related pieces. 

5 -"'J' £ ^ he hostilit y of the Jews to Mary is much elabor- 
ated in the Synac versions of the Transitus Maries. The Tews 
watch the tomb and prepare to stone her. 

p. 99, L 12. In Dr. Wright's Syriac fragment, on the con- 
trary, the watchers see the angels speaking to Mary, and are 
hindered thereby from harming her. 

p. 99, L 16. In the Syriac the Jews obtain authority from the 
governor to make Mary desist from her visits to the tomb. This 
occasions her removal to Bethlehem. 

p. 100, 18 The Syriac names the three virgins— Calletha, 
Neshra and Tabetha. The second was the daughter of Gamaliel. 
Mystical meanings are given to the names. 

p. 100, 1. 10. J 'Bring me a censer. 5 So below and continu- 
ally: Pray, and cast incense, 5 'Bring a censer, and cast 
incense, and pray/ etc. There is no trace of the use of incense 
in Christian worship during the first four centuries. 

p. 101, 1. 26. These two ideas are now connected with Mary; 


Motes. *$ New Testament 

(I ) that she was sinless, and (2) that her body could not see 

p. 102, 1. 14. The list of the Apostles is not complete, and 
varies in the different versions. Four Apostles, with Luke, are 
raised from their tombs, and afterwards return to them. 

p. 102, 1. 15. * Tiberia '—see below ; ' And I, living in a city at 
no great distance from Rome, called the country of Tiberia.' 

p. 102, 1. 15. * Hither India'— i.e. 9 the eastern provinces of 
Persia (Ariana, Arachosia, etc.). So in the Acts of Thomas. 
The early tradition placed Thomas's sphere of labour in Parthia. 

p. 103, 1. 26. John was going in to perform service at the holy 
altar. This reading back of advanced Catholic ritual into the 
years succeeding the Crucifixion is maintained throughout. In 
the Syriac, Peter is offering a sacrifice at Rome ; in the Latin, 
Thomas is saying mass in India, etc. 

p. 104, 1. 28. ' Canon of the third day.' The Syriac has ' the 
service of the third hour.' 'A canon is a part of the Church 
service consisting of nine odes. The canon of the third day 
is the canon for Tuesday' (note in Ante-Nicene Library, xvi. 

p. 106, 1. 1. The wonders at the Virgin's deathbed are greatly 
multiplied and heightened in the Syriac. Women come from 
Rome, from Alexandria, from Egypt, from Athens ; ' daughters 
of kings, and daughters of the magnates of the nations,' etc. 
Long accounts are given of the miracles. Those that were cured 
are reckoned at 2800 souls, men, and women, and children. 

p. 109, 1. 21. Here the Syriac introduces a long controversy 
between the believers and unbelievers in Jesus, held before the 
governor in Jerusalem. It ends with six of the unbelievers being 
scourged. It is brought out in the discussion that the touching 
of the cross of Jesus has cured 5500 souls, more or less. 

p. 109, 1. 25. The Syriac versions vary, in that a command is 
given to convey the Virgin to a cave in a valley beyond the 
Mount of Olives. It is on this journey (before her death) that 
the story of the judgment on Jephunneh, told here later, comes 
in. The death of the Virgin takes place in the cave. 


Apocryphal Writings $*> Notes. 

p. in, 1. 3. Paradise is located in the Syriac in the site of the 
old Eden, but is viewed as an abode of the blessed, and in com- 
munication with heaven. 

p. 114, 1. 23. There are the widest differences in the various 
versions of this translation of Mary's body. A Latin version de- 
scribes Mary as raised to life from her tomb. The Syriac pictures 
her as resuscitated in Paradise, and taken up by Christ to see 
the glories of the heavenly world. 

Colston & Coy. Limited, Printers, Edinburgh. 

BS 2832 .07 1903 IMS 
Bible. N.T. Apocryphal Books 
New Testament apocryphal 
writings 47086524 


-?e of Av«.odiaevo! Studies